Thursday, July 09, 2020

"I'M NOT GOOD LOOKING" the "WOMANFACE" Misogynist Ridicule from James "Fat Turd" Corden - song by WALTER STONE


HA HA HA...wanna see who would be laughing if fat, pig-faced un-funny James Corden dressed up in BLACKFACE instead of WOMANFACE?

Interesting isn't it? Somehow, it's not ok for a comedian (a good one, such as Jimmy Kimmel, or Billy Crystal or Darrel Hammond) to take advantage of make-up technology and do a really good impersonation of a Black celebrity. No no. You are not BLACK so it's OFFENSIVE.

But it's OK for fat, pig-faced un-funny James Corden to make fun of women by mocking what makes them feminine?

Let's see him do BLACKFACE like that. Or REDFACE. Or YELLOWFACE. But because he's an effeminate disgusting talentless twit who has a morbid need to do drag, that's...funny. No, it doesn't look that funny. Not even clown-funny. It's insulting.

Cordon is just the fetid uncircumcized tip of the dickheads. There's homos mincing around in grotesque parody of womanhood on RuPaul's Drag Race, a huge hit. The idea is to wear some of the most stereotypical sex-object outfits imaginable, and if you're not fugly enough and ridiculous enough, "sashay away." How many women do you know who SASHAY away? About as many as blacks who spend their lunch hour chowing on fried chicken and watermelon?

Somehow, DRAG LIVES MATTER. The fabulous #METOO movement isn't demanding that this totally "inappropriate" and un-PC garbage SASHAY AWAY from cable TV. As ugly and demeaning as it is, it STAYS. Maybe because homos can kick cunt around the block, and not even get aroused by it. So watch it, ladies. The drag queens are a lot tougher than you are.

You might think that Walter Stone's "I'm Not Good Looking" was merely used to tee off on fat, ugly, un-funny drag-happy James Corden. Well. YES. One good reason for it, is that James Corden is fat, ugly, un-funny and drag-happy, and what he and other garish female impersonators do is obnoxious. You want to be effeminate, which is bad enough, go ahead, if that's who you are, Nancy, but don't PAINT YOUR FUCKING FACE too. Not in WOMANFACE. As a clown maybe, because that is what you are.

All right. One last point needs to be made. I don't know diddly about "Walter Stone." But I sure filled up a few paragraphs, didn't I?

The totally obscure rockabilly singer Walter Stone managed to get a song pressed on an indie label, and apparently worked the Thunderbird Club in Indianapolis circa 1967. With such a fine song title, it’s not surprising that local disc jockeys then, and cult-oriented indie-radio disc jockeys today, would dedicate this song to a particular person they hate.  Or, they’d get a request from someone to “Please play this song, and dedicate it to Hans…” or Christian. Or Anderson. Or fat un-funny pig-faced James Corden.

So here you are: “I’M NOT GOOD LOOKING,” which you can download and send to your favorite gruesome-looking jerk. That includes Corden. “Here, Pudgy Jim, you’re not only un-funny and un-talented, and couldn't possibly have succeeded in Carson's era or when late-night hosts had to actually have a million+ viewers... you’re NOT GOOD LOOKING. That’ll do, pig.”


The Photoshop middle a FUCK YOU to the Grim Reaper, for taking down Hugh before he could reach 100.

Yes, Hugh Downs is gone. Hugh who? Well, Yoo Hoo to you, too. And too bad if you were too young to enjoy a low-key gentleman from the golden (i.e. CLASSY) days of television.

July got off to a rotten start with the deaths of Max “Runaway” Crook, and a man not known for his musical triumphs: Hugh Downs.

It’s been said that TV is a “cool medium,” and it was certainly true in its formative days, when comfortable and calm personalities such as Mister Rogers and Hugh Downs were welcomed into the living room, and not harridan twats like Judge Judy and brainless bimbo cunts like the Kardashians.

Downs, living up to his name, downplayed drama when he hosted an amiable, news-accented version of “The Today Show." He had been the tongue-in-cheek announcer for Jack Paar’s “Tonight Show,” where conversation, rather than Fallon-fucked stunts, prevailed. The idea was for people to be adult and talk to each other in a witty, informative manner...oh, with a risque joke now and then, or a drunken evening from Garland or Rooney, or a freewheeling session with Jonathan Winters.

In the world of frantic quiz shows, with hyped up prizes and a variety of risque remarks and “consequences” for contestants to act out, Hugh hosted “Concentration” from 1958-1969. So, for a time he was doing both the quiz show and the Paar show, and or the quiz show and "The Today Show." That was kind of a super-load for this mild mannered gent.

As its name implies, "Concentration" was not a quiz show you could merely glance at. It wasn’t a show that a housewife could listen to while dusting the furniture. The show involved remembering little portions of a rebus puzzle, and being the first to deduce and solve the whole thing. “Not a match,” Hugh would softly say, “the board goes back.” David Letterman even adopted that as a (now meaningless) catch-phrase.  

Downs got to be so popular that, no surprise, a record label asked him to do some singing. As you'd expect, he had a smooth voice and a pleasant way with a folk song. Yes, Hugh was fond of folk songs. He also liked country and western, especially Red Foley. From the album notes:

"I think Red Foley is one of the greatest singers of all time. And I include him with Caruso…I'm serious. His singing represents life and that's what music should do." This was also the era of Burl Ives, and Burl's style is pretty evident in the way Hugh handles "Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes" and "The Ride Back from Boot Hill." Downs recalled (for the liner notes) that he did meet Ives. He "told me I deserved to wear a beard. I told him I wouldn't grow one. I had a mustache for five years but I finally did it in. It was sapping my strength."

Two from HUGH:


Among the things going extinct lingerie. Not trashy lingerie for empty-headed ho's with butts the size of watermelons. We're talking about elegant items that cause Miss Otis a lot of regrets in the morning.

The heyday for this stuff was probably the 30's, with a nod to the tawdry 50's when Lily St. Cyr was selling mail order from the back of magazines, along with Frederick's of Hollywood.

Similarly, the heyday for hotcha Big Band music, the kind that accompanied hot dancing in speakeasy nightclubs and was played throbbingly loud on a cheap hotel radio, was also the 30's, but again, with a nod toward the dying last days of Fletcher Henderson as he tried, yet again and again, to put together a new band. Fletcher was about 55 when he died, December 29, 1952.

Here's a meld of a classic Fletcher Henderson instrumental, and glimpses of "Pre-Code" movies where a glimpse of stocking was usually not enough; slips, bras and panties were on the menu, too.

Any women wear “slips” anymore? No James Corden, the question was ANY WOMEN?

Do you suppose Millennials have ever heard of the terms “step-ins” or “tap pants?” Both refer to what might best be described as the female version of boxer shorts. Instead of tight panties, these were loose-fitting, and, well, you’ll see plenty of them in the video clips, A misconception about B&W movie entertainment was that it was always prudish. No, in fact as soon as a woman stepped in front of a camera, the idea was to get her clothes off and, hopefully, horizontal.

Stag films go back to the silent era, and so did the legendary Clara Bow. Soon there was Mae West and even Betty Boop cartoons showing off saucy humor. Things got so outrageous that a censor was brought in to create a code of conduct for the film studios. The Hayes Office took a lot of fun out of films, but there was still some hot moments, and you can see plenty in “pre-code” movies (of which this compilation partakes).

As for the music, Big Band stuff could definitely swing. Johnny Carson used to simmer about this, pointing to Doc and the band, saying, "If people don't think that's hip...." Because it actually was. Once you understood it, the arrangements and the finesse of the great horn players and drummers is evident. Big Band isn't Glenn Miller doing "In the Mood" (a song Peter Sellers hated so much, he willed that it be inflicted on mourners at his funeral).

Just imagine the cats dancing to extremely fast-paced stuff like “Hotter than ‘Ell,” while drinking bootleg liquor or, gasp, smoking REEFER. Yes, there was definitely some reefer madness going on at some of the after-hours clubs that featured blazing brass and frantic piano and a powerful full band of hepcats stewed or fried on booze or weed.

Some have a passing knowledge of Cab Calloway or Fats Waller, and of course latter-day saints like Miles Davis, but two of the best Big Band leaders were Jimmie Lunceford and Fletcher Henderson. Both offered the kind of hotcha that was often used to pump up the excitement in bizarre movie cartoons featuring insane-looking animals.  

Henderson was wise and slick, and hired some of the legends, from Louis Armstrong and Don Redman to Benny Carter, Henry "Red" Allen, Roy Eldridge, Sun Ra and Coleman Hawkins. His bands recorded a ton of 78's, and he was a classy guy, insisting his guys dress well for their gigs. Henderson also worked as an arranger for Benny Goodman, a secret weapon in Benny's battle to become the hippest guy on radio (up against the Dorsey brothers and Artie Shaw among others). 

I was fortunate that when I was really get into jazz, there were still some big record stores staffed by people who knew what they were doing. At the jazz section one day, I asked, "Who played that fast, bouncy jazz you'd hear on the soundtrack of old Terrytoons and Felix the Cat cartoons?" "Oh, check over here...budget MCA records by Lunceford and Henderson." Henderson was a bit hotter and more intense of the two, although there's unintentional humor in his version of "Knock Knock Who's There," where he puns, badly, his own name. "Knock Knock." "Who's There." "Fletcher." "Fletcher who?" "Fletch-yo-self Go!"

Go, GO. Great Granny may have been keeping some secrets from you. She could’ve been decked out in stockings, garterbelt (suspender belt in the UK), step-ins, slip…and after dancing for a few hours, slipping and sliding in bed to some hot action and Fletcher Henderson music. Hell, 'ell, she might even be in one of the film clips. Hotcha!


Monday, June 29, 2020

MATS RADBERG has gone permanently cold - PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE

You know what makes me laugh? All the Swedes, Germans and Dutchman who just LOVE the idea of being COWBOYS. What a bunch of...WILD AND CRAZY GUYS. Did you ever hear of Mats Radberg? He had a hit with a Shel Silverstein song called "Put Another Log In the Fire." It was "Peta In En Pinne I Brasan."

If you've been around this blog for any length of time, you know I have a perverse fondness for familiar American songs sung in foreign languages. Most people don't pay much attention to lyrics, but I find it pretty odd when a familiar melody is accompanied by (to me, not to the star's home-based fans) gibberish. Somehow the singer usually gives you some kind of emotional response -- same way most can listen to an opera aria and get the idea Pavarotti is a very sad clown, or Roberta Peters has just gone nuts -- without checking the libretto.

When I used to forage the bargain bins (I mean the REAL bargain bins, like 2-for-$1 or 3-for-$1 or 25 cents each) I'd find obscure foreign records and check the songwriter credits. If I saw a foreign title but recognized an American songwriter's name (and the added name of whoever wrote the foreign lyrics) I bought it.

You might think ol' Mats is about to launch into "Okie from Muskogee" but no, it's Uncle Shelby singing one of his songs that melds stupid Southern shit-kicker idiocy with Jewish pathos. The shit-kicker part:

 Put another log on the fire.
Cook me up some bacon and some beans.
And go out to the car and change the tyre.
Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans.

The Jewish pathos part:

Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe,
And then go fetch my slippers.
And boil me up another pot of tea.
Then put another log on the fire, babe,
And come and tell me why you're leaving me.

I'm sure that Radberg captured all the nuances while singing in Swedish. Yah. And if he was getting no royalties thanks to Sweden's Pirate Bay, oh well. He did make some bucks back in 1983 when the above song was recorded, and nobody could copy it all over the Internet and declare "copyright is copy WRONG" or "music should be FREEEEEEEE." He made about a dozen albums between 1969 ("Country Our Way" with his Rankrama Rank Strangers band) and 1983. He made only three albums in the past decades of piracy "When We Were Young" in 1996, "100% Mats Radberg & Rankama" in 2002, and "Nashville" in 2014.  But I'm sure he was still doing concerts and sweating for his salary with those, and maybe after, he sold t-shirts and hats.

Adios, Mats. At least you made it past your birthday: June 8, 1948 - June 27, 2020


Back in the 50's, there was an incredible glut of Western TV shows. By the 60's, the number had dwindled to only a few. "Bonanza" and "Gunsmoke" were still around, but attempts to add more manure to the shitty prime time schedules dominated by sitcoms and bad variety shows, failed. You might vaguely remember "Lancer," or the almost laughable "Custer," or the weird Chuck Connors items "Branded" and "Cowboy in Africa."

There were also "Bonanza"-type shows that tried to give us a view of our sprawling American West, and brawling American families. "The Big Valley" was one of those, with Barbara Stanwyck supervising a slightly more interesting bunch besides the usual cowboys. There was, after all, Linda Evans. And there was another Linda...LINDA CRISTAL, hanging around "The High Chaparral."

You might well ask what the FUCK is a "Chaparral." Is it the apparel a chap would wear? The show lasted from 1967-1971, and I don't think too many people cared about the scenery and landscape...just the face and body of LINDA CRISTAL.

Linda has passed on (February 23 1931 – June 27 2020 and here's a musical tribute to her...the mediocre theme song for this mediocre show.

David Rose composed some good theme music. This isn’t necessarily the best example. He also wrote two instrumental hits: "Holiday for Strings" in 1944 and 'The Stripper," a #1 smash in 1962.

Rose worked on several TV westerns, composing incidental music for "Bonanza," and also for the forgotten 1967 hour, "Dundee and the Culhane," which starred John Mills as an urbane lawyer dealing with the wild wild west. For some reason, that show can't even be sampled on YouTube.

The theme he wrote for "The High Chaparral" opens with notes that seem copped from Leonard Bernstein (“Tonight, tonight, won’t be like…) NO no, this is a WESTERN, not a West Side Story. Rose also makes use of the Dimitri Tioimkin stutter-rhythm that, I guess, was supposed to imitate horses galloping. Or something. Oh well, I think David Rose was busier dealing with his regular job as band leader for "The Red Skelton Hour," (where "Holiday of Strings" was flogged constantly) and who knows, when he wasn't watching Red make an ass of himself, David was still shaking his head over how Judy Garland wanted him to fuck her in the ass. But I digress.

Let's see some ludicrous but sexy publicity stills on Linda...

Linda was a nice lady. She autographed a few photos for me. I wasn't geeking her at a memorabilia show...this was purely a free, mutual-respect thing. I did know quite a lot of famous people back in the day, and I sure appreciated beautiful ladies.

I put the photos down on a Moon Martin and a Patti Dahlstrom album -- which is of course, proof that I didn't merely swipe photos off of eBay or Google. This isn't a Dutch liar blogging. And it's a bit ridiculous the fanboys who "pay for it," going from table to table to get one minute with a star and think it means anything to that star except some extra bucks in the purse. But, let's not digress again...

Linda was an exotic beauty from Argentina, with the requisite load of names (Marta Victoria Moya Peggo Burges). Her looks typed her pretty much for Indian roles, and for roles in a load of those "sword and sandal" movies which were so popular in the 50's.  Her debut was as "Margarita" in "Comanche" (1956), and she slid from the 50's into the 60's with both Westerns (she was Flaca in John Wayne's "The Alamo) and yeah...."Legions of the Nile" (1959) and "The Pharoah's Woman" (1960). 

Her greatest fame came, of course, when she was on FREE TV, and millions could watch her week after week (Friday nights, 7:30 to 8:30) on "The High Chaparral."  She only appeared in a few guest-star roles after the series ended, including a "Love Boat" episode in 1981. Her last film role was as Nancy Chavez in the film "Mr. Majestyk" in 1974.  Lovely, majestic...LINDA CRISTAL...still sailing in some of our dreams.



One phenomenon of the PANDEMIC, is that artists have found an alternative. To what? To performing for small sums in small venues, touring all over the place getting into car accidents and eating lousy fast food and sleeping in uncomfortable beds in crappy hotels....

They get to be on their FACEBOOK page, with a link to DONATION websites such as Paypal, and perform hour-long concerts. They ALSO can be found on FACEBOOK adjusting the tripod and the camcorder, giving a bit of a wan chat, and then launching into a song.
Kind of sad, isn't it, that Dame Vera Lynn isn't around anymore? Surely, if she was a mere 100, she would've had her daughter set up that camcorder (in a dark room, of course, with ambient blur) and reassure everyone, "We'll meet again...without distancing....without masks...don't know where, don't know when...."

But here's Tift Merritt. You might remember her from the fantastic, catchy and only SLIGHTLY dirty song "I am Your Tambourine" years ago, or for the equally great "Shadow In the Way." She's on FACEBOOK, y'all. And she very nicely has offered amusing anecdotes about her mom, some songs, and...well, here's a small sample.

Here, she talks about a small circle of menopausal friends who get their kicks by looking at 1970's pictures of Kris Kristofferson. NO KIDDING. And, for the sake of Kris, AND for the comfort it brings to all of us who aren't getting out much (and the 2020 Kris is one of those), the uplifting and soothing song, "Help Me Make it Through the Night."

Watch or download. Visit Tift on FACEBOOK.


Take a look at this famous face, contorted by old age:

What is he doing, having a fit? Asking the nurse for a glass of water and pain medication?

Actually...he's SINGING. You can see and hear for yourself below.

He's singing "All I Have to Do is Dream," which is actually a kind of wistful ballad...not an inane karoake number that old people are supposed to be howling in the delerium of their senility.  (Hint: this guy had a hit back in the now-legendary and revisionist "Summer of Love" where most people weren't gettin' any love or any sex, and mostly just getting bad drugs that fucked them up. The TIME of the SEASON for lahhhhhh-VING!!!).

There is actually a group of creepy wanna-be's who aren't too talented, but have a cunning plan: invade nursing homes and "CHEER UP" the half-dead sad, rheumy-eyed patients by making them SING ALONG to rotten songs like "Que Sera Sera" and half-remembered ditties like "All I Have to Do is Dream." And Jesus Fucking Christ, what would make an old person happier as they face mortality, than to be reminded "Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be," or told that when it comes to their DEAD husband or wife, or the grown-up kids who never visit them, "Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream..."

Now, thanks to the lazy Internet, “Sunshine” people don’t have to drive to a nursing home. They just set up the camcorder, sing some ghastly old songs, and expect a nurse to flip a switch on the laptop, or on the big screen in the musty-smelling "recreation room" and....JOY OH JOY. A whole bunch of croaky, numb, drugged-up old skeletons will start singing "SWEET CAROLINE."

The Unholy Three have managed to get some D-listers to "guest star" with him on these karoake-fests. At the moment, YouTube is not bringing them fame or a lot of hits, BUT  this isn't going to deter them from their goal, which I guess is to get a government grant so they can drive around to nursing homes, infect the old people with their singing-charm, and have them sing "QUE SERA SERA" until they keel over. "Give us, oh, three hundred pounds each, plus expenses, and we'll set up our karoake you see, we've got the leader of a 60's band, and a drag queen, and some guy in a bad British TV show...and we're OH SO TALENTED ourselves....GIVE US MONEY. We should be FAMOUS." And this shit should go viral:

Recognize him? Of COURSE you DON'T. But, DEREK thinks he's a superstar because he's in a show you’ve never watched called “No Angels.” Oh well, there are 150 cable channels, and a dozen streaming websites vomiting out new and lousy shows, but as they say, "he's a legend in his own mind." You'll enjoy that shirt he wears, which looks like a 1970's item he found in a charity shop (which they charged him 30 quid for).

What's he singing that sad, depressed people would suddenly SMILE about and join in? "SWEET CAROLINE," FFS. It's the song that drunks singing at football and boxing matches, with extra shouts of "OI OI." The song has stupid lyrics, makes no sense, shouldn't be an anthem, should never be sung by anyone, but yes, go ahead, have all the Fine Old Seniles croak "Sweet Caroline. OI OI OI..."

Does it get worse? You bet it does. How about bringing in…a DRAG QUEEN. Oooh ooh, how TRENDY. We all LOVE drag queens, don’t we?  Blackface, no. Redface, no. Yellowface, no. But WOMANFACE, hell yeah! Let's laugh at GUYS putting on WOMANFACE and camping it up, ridiculing women via stereotype. Ha ha. Femininity lampooned by effeminacy. Ho ho, you ho's.

The song is QUE SERA SERA. "What, you're 88 and can barely move anymore? Que Sera Sera! Sing some karoake, granny! We're the cheerful trio of SUNSHINE singers, and our special guest is a DRAG QUEEN who looks pretty damn scary!"

WARNING: every one of the Unholy Three's video starts with cloying, smirking gurns into the camera, and a big fat ZUNNY picture of a beaming SUN CARTOON.

And now, the link you've been waiting for, as a guy who looks like a rabid woodchuck joins the three creepies in a rendition of "All You Have to Do is Dream," complete with big letter karoake lyrics, as you old people can't see too well.

Is this shit catching on? Less than 400 views in about a month would say NO, but let's all root for Covid-19 to keep hanging around, so we can ALL be like crypto-corpses in an Old Folks Home, and be so bored and miserable we'll even allow the jerkiest trio of smirking, condescending creeps to come and torture us with karoake and their hideous grins. It beats just sitting around and having some peace and quiet and meditation, doesn't it?

 Covid-19 and Karoake. Perfect together. Who says there's nothing to SING about?

Now let's have a SPECIAL salute to the THREE SUNSHINERS who put it all together. (They'd want it that way). Take a bow...

Prancing, smirking Miss Cheerful...the female member of the Unholy Three who have hired the D-list "celebrities."

Thanks also to Frankenstein the guitarist, who would be thrown off the stage at any Open Mic night. But in front of a captive audience at a nursing home? Or the safety of being in front of a camcorder and performing on the Internet? Mmmmm.....

Special thanks to PETER, who is incredibly hilarious as he mugs for the camera holding....ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho hee hee hee hee hee....a BANANA!!!!!

Say something NICE about the's given people a wonderful alternative for entertainment...KAROAKE on YOUTUBE....


Freddy Cole has passed on (October 15, 1931 – June 27, 2020). Yes, Lionel Frederick Cole was one of Nat "King" Cole's brothers. The youngest. They're all dead now. Eddie was born in 1910, Nat was born in 1919, Ike was born in 1927, and Freddy in 1931.

Freddy first gained some attention in 1953 when he recorded "Whispering Grass" for Okeh.  His varied career included records, a lot of touring, and session work, including commercial jingles. A documentary was done on him in 2006 aptly titled "The Cole Nobody Knows."

Fans of the blog know that there's ANOTHER "Cole Nobody Knows," and that's my very late friend Bobby Cole, who died back on December 19th, 1996.  In his tumultuous lifetime, he had Top 40 success once, via the very first cover version of "Mr. Bojangles." He'd heard its author Jerry Jeff Walker perform a folk version in Greenwich Village, and knew it would be fantastic given a more Sgt. Pepper-type arrangement...adding a bit of "Mr. Kite" calliope and "Day in the Life" somberness. Bobby's version and Jeff's version ended up dueling for chart position across the country. Where Columbia/Date had more influence, the radio stations played Bobby, and where Atlantic/Atco had more clout, it was Walker. Also I think the North tended to prefer Bobby's urban version (which was copied by Sammy Davis Jr. and George Burns)  and the South Walker's (which was copied by Bob Dylan and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band).

As for people covering Bobby's songs...only two people anyone's heard of tried to wax him. Nancy Sinatra performed "Flowers" on one of her albums, and late in his career, when Bobby was long gone, Freddy offered a cover of the smoke-dream ballad, "You Could Hear a Pin Drop."

Listen online or download -- no stupid passwords, no Paypal donation whining.

Freddy Cole via BOX link

Friday, June 19, 2020

ALOE VERA...GOODBYE LYNN - the great and legendary VERA LYNN

Vera Lynn. She was not known too well in America or some of the junk-Eurotrash countries and backward countries of the world.

She wouldn't be a familiar name to the fine, fine music-thieves in Turkey, Sweden, Holland or Brazil, etc., so don't count on them generously offering full albums: "just for fun...and leave me a nice comment so I'll feel like I'm God, or I'm relevant, or I'm in show biz.").

Vera made a name for herself on British radio during World War II. Like Betty Grable in America, whose cute, All-American pin-up pictures boosted morale for American soldiers, Vera Lynn's singing warmed the hearts of both soldiers, and the civilians who never knew when a bomb might destroy their homes. 

At a time of great stress and uncertainty, sex symbols were not what was needed. What were soldiers fighting for? Country. Home. The girl they left behind or the girl they wanted to marry. The American GI's chose Betty Grable as their sweetheart, not Jane Russell. Rather than a saucy Marie Lloyd, the British soldiers wanted a girl who could put a steak and kidney pie on the table: Vera Lynn.

For "The Greatest Generation" living in the U.K., Vera Lynn was an enduring symbol. Hitler and Mussolini were not invincible. Vera Lynn assured the nation: "We'll Meet Again." The soldiers would return to their sweethearts. "I'll Be Seeing all the old familiar places." Both songs had a gentle, melancholy optimism...a far cry...more of a whisper...from World War I marches like "Over There," and songs sung by bombastic battle-axes like Florrie Forde. 

After the war, she continued to enjoy a respectable following, and usually with more songs that had an element of bitter nostalgia via minor key melodies. In 1970, two years after Mary Hopkins' twittery rendition of "Those Were The Days," Vera covered it, and covered it well. She also sang the wistful "There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World."

Into the 80's and 90's, Vera Lynn made tasteful re-appearances for songs and interviews, and like the Queen of England herself, was as much a reassuring figurehead than someone with actual power. She certainly didn't have the power to compete with the new wave singer/sluts in leotards and big hair and big busts -- the type bouncing around on MTV.

Vera Lynn, who was a comforting presence that suggested war would be over, and romance would return, became, in a way, a symbol of something else: peace in old age. She had all her marbles. When interviewed, she was always graceful, gracious and articulate. She seemed to even defy mortality. "Vera Lynn is still alive..." maybe this death thing isn't so final?

As you know, she died the other day at 103.

Plenty of her hit songs would be a likely cliche for a tribute: “Auf Wiedersehn Sweetheart,” “As Time Goes By…” or "It Hurts To Say Goodbye."

The latter is the choice, because it DOES hurt to say goodbye, even if, as people LOVE to say, "her work lives on...she's alive in our hearts."

Her song below has a slightly different flavor of heroic agony than the others mentioned. It's not as sad and wistful as her other ballads. It's not nearly as gentle. Vera Lynn was not given enough credit for having an expressive, powerful voice, but she had one, and she uses it to its full extent here:


You may not have too much time left to....

Eat Aunt Jemima pancakes with Aunt Jemima syrup. Lord knows, the image of Aunt Jemima that was re-done years ago, looks too much like...Oprah Winfrey? Maya Angelou? Some other nice looking black lady? You'd think getting your face on a cereal it Wheaties or Pancake Batter...would be an achievement and a sign of respect. NOPE. Not in this PC (pretty crazy) world.

Jemima's surrendered. The BAND song could be pulled any day now.

This RARE clip, by the way, is from some "ruin our fun" company that won't offer complete free downloads in perfect quality. They actually want artists to be paid (and not be, ya know, SLAVES.)

Now what was that John Lennon song that nobody is allowed to mention by name anymore? "Copyright Owner is the --- something or other --- of the world?" No, that can't be right. It CAN'T be.

Is it "Woman is the...." well, that's what some people seem to think of Aunt Jemima? Or is Jemima a name demeaning and terrible and...Ian Dury's daughter should change it to something else? Who knows. As Lily Tomlin said, "No matter how cynical you are, you can't keep up." Not with the daily news on what offends people, who should be boycotted or canceled, or get ominous "R.I.P." trending Tweets.

OH, PS, don't listen to Aunt Jemima's kin, y'all. Just enjoy your self-righteous, ignorant witch-hunting know-nothing paranoia. It worked like McCarthyism, Salem Massachusetts, The Final Solution and the Spanish Inquisition.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Believe in Revisionist History and Guilty Until Proved Innocent: JAGGER THE DAGGER (Gene McDaniels)

It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world. Truth? Be damned! Listen to the man...of your choice. Or the woman who is so convincing as she points the finger. That's good, too.

Two items of news the past week: Woody Allen's latest movie plays in Europe but NOT in America because Fascist Jeff Bezos did everything to end his contract with Woody for four movies, and refused to stream this first one. Second: a solid week of blatant looting long after there was no reason, other than GREED, to keep doing it. The cops in the George Floyd case were arrested, and on their way to a trial. Same as Officer Noor (another Minnesota cop) who shot and killed an unarmed white woman.

But let's get on with THIS: "Jagger the Dagger," which didn't get much attention way back when, but will probably end up in the (revisionist) history books as an accurate song about a racist incident and the person responsible.

Never heard of "Jagger the Dagger?" Probably not, but no doubt it will be taught in schools, the same ones that will be offering mandatory courses in Pulitzer Prize-winning Kendrick Lamar while ignoring Shakespeare, John Milton and Bob Dylan. Mick Jagger? He's the guy who did everything but stab a black man to death himself. Racism y'all. Over six minutes of surprisingly smooth-groove soul, these lyrics:

Jagger doing the devil dance
Just a victim of circumstance
Jagger wheeling the rolling stone
He and the devil know he's all alone
Jagger lived in the world a while
Now he's learning the devil's style
Jagger playing a heavy game
Free from guilt and he's free from shame

Jagger sucking the source of life
Slashing the pig with a horny knife
Jagger merging the sexes now
Just stand back and he'll show you how
Jagger's organ will play the tune
He will watch the heavens open soon
Jagger doing the devil dance
Just a victim of circumstance

Yes indeed, Mick Jagger, he the devil. Stole the black man's way of dancing, too. Stole the fucking name of his group from the black man (Muddy Waters, y'all). Has no shame! "Jagger sucking the source of life, slashing the pig with a horny knife." You figure it out.

How fortunate that nobody is telling us we don't know the truth, or can't research the truth, or that we had better take this as the truth or ELSE. That's why we can, for the moment, shrug this off as just somebody's hot-headed opinion and not factual. But who knows when revisionist history will pull Jagger down to the level of Al Jolson, or horrible Warner Oland who played Charlie Chan, or the Tarzan movies that should never be seen again. Let's not forget Kate Smith's statue being pulled down -- because she sang a song that Paul Robeson also sang but nobody cared to do their research. And Francis Scott Key never did anything for slaves (he did, but why get in the way of an ignorant football quarterback taking a knee and lying on the way down?)

Today, more and more, we're being forced to believe what we don't know, and accept "fake news" as real, and shut our eyes to what's blown out of proportion. And so Woody Allen's new film isn't available in America, and Senator Al Franken had to resign, and America was humiliated by nights and nights of rioting long after the "right thing" (arresting the cops) was done. 

An irony here is that Mick was quick to write a song that pretty much gave opinion as fact.  Wiser heads prevailed about releasing it at the time. He condemned Claudine Longet as a cold murderess in the death of the guy she was living with in Colorado. I think the official verdict was that it was an accident, but you can't be expected to offer all sides of the issue in a three minute song, and it's much more fun to get yer ya-ya's off.  But let's get back to Gene McDaniels declaring Jagger to be in league with the devil. 

Yes, the song references the ill-advised concert where Hell's Angels ended up guarding the stage and beating the crap out of  people. Several white guys barely escaped with their lives, and one black guy wasn't so lucky. Was the latter a racial incident? Well, the victim was dressed outrageously like a pimp,  strolling around with a silly white blonde, but when he ran afoul of the Hell's Angels, she was in the background somewhere, and he was rushing the stage and he happened to be carrying a gun. Some witnesses say he was high on meth and others say he seemed sober.

(These days the truth can be obscured by Photoshop, denied because it would be politically incorrect to interfere with martyrdom, or blurred so as not to offend viewers or subscribers who pay good money to be entertained rather than informed).

Should the Hell's Angels have treated him much better than all the white hippies they were pushing and shoving and beating? Or did one rogue go too far because he simply wanted to beat the shit out of someone, and then have a few of his pals join in because it was fun? Hmmm. Seems a bit similar to the case of Mr. Floyd, who may have been resisting arrest. Resisting arrest for passing counterfeit money, and it would be hard to claim innocence when you have a police record. A good reason to try and NOT get taken into custody. But why even explore who this guy was and what his motives were, which might give a clue as to what really went down?

A police union president, Bob Kroll, claimed Mr. Floyd had a record. Kroll was instantly accused of racism and demands were made to fire him. Memes such as the one above, asking about the police record have been denounced as inflammatory (as opposed to the flames of burning stores being looted?).=

Convenient rationalization comes to play: "So what if the charges are TRUE, " some argue, "that doesn't give the cops a right to use violence." No? But, the truth might dent the notion that any black who is arrested will automatically be choked to death...and in some circumstances (though not the Floyd case) the victim might have a pre-existing condition he knew about but ignored even if the stress of an arrest and a struggle to avoid arrest could be fatal.

"The animal cop" (to use Kid Creole's phrase) is not always going to show restraint, unfortunately. Many people of every race and religion can talk about some instance where a cop was physically or verbally abusive. Officer Noor, who shot the unarmed white woman? Racist or not, the woman is dead. Should he have been allowed on the force? How could anyone know he'd make a fatal decision like that? What is more disturbing is when a cop seems to have a record of complaints and nothing is done until it's too late. Is it a surprise that government employees are not properly screened or monitored? Who in their right mind wants a low paying job that involves dealing with scumbags and loonies and risking assault or death by sniper? How does a police force monitor a cop who might slowly be getting unhinged by stress?

"All I want is the truth," John Lennon once sang. It seems that sometimes, asking for the truth is asking for trouble. It'll brand you as racist, sexist, somebody who should be fired,  or, in every sense of the word, "cancelled." Both rational people and nutjobs and conspiracy theorists are currently debating George Floyd's character, and what went down — with the truth often pushed aside or not even known.

It seems, irony of ironies, that everything is either black or white. Or, as Phil Ochs sang it: "So they argue through the night. Black is black. White is white. Walk away both knowing they are right." And nobody is buying flowers from the flower lady, and few are extending the olive branch. Wasn't it important for the news media to show black protesters hugging white cops, and white cops kneeling with black protesters? Or did that spoil the desire to see red instead?

Also fun in social media is insulting Woody Allen (anti-Semitism is part of it, but nobody seems to care about certain minorities). It's also good sport to tie down Rolf Harris and say he should still be in jail. The supporters for Allen or Harris tend to be dismissed as deluded fans who are probably pedophiles themselves.

You can read all about the Rolling Stones concert on various reputable websites, including Rolling Stone. That tragic evening included several people dying or overdosing, and some rock acts on the bill refusing to perform because it seemed too dangerous.  Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane could've died at that scene, but fortunately for him, he didn't get tangled close enough to the stage with several Hell's Angels around him, and he wasn't carrying a gun.

Eventually, the song "Jagger the Dagger" might be taken as the truth, as Bob Dylan's 'Hurricane" is still widely regarded as the truth. Bob hasn't performed it in years, proabbly because there's a lot of very solid evidence that Carter and his pal were guilty. Go here For Cal Deal and the Hurricane story

Jagger didn't even see the incident from the stage, and later was begging the crowd to behave. He wasn't devilishly condoning it, but why let the truth interfere when flashy fire can be added to the smoke, and an incident or a person can be scapegoated for blame and outrage? 

The other story of the week: Woody Allen's movie, completed with Amazon money, suddenly was yanked by Bezos. No American distribution. Dylan Farrow was once again making accusations that she felt should be taken as truth. 

If you want the truth on Woody Allen, and a very even assessment of the problem, a female reporter has it for you: Woody Allen piece in THE GUARDIAN

Dylan sang, "We live in a land where justice is a game." Yes, it's a "political world." And "the world is ruled by violence, but that's better left unsaid." We are taught not to rush to judgement, that one is innocent until proven guilty, and that mobs with torches are dangerous...that trying to placate the mob by self-flagellation will only show weakness and lead to more people taking advantage and playing whatever race card or blackmail card will get them the power they crave.

It's a bad idea to try and "cancel" people via social media or boycott out of misplaced malice. But it happens. Just as once in a while, there's a cop who shouldn't be on the force, "animal" or just incompetent.  Kid Creole: "He should never have been given a gun..."

Woody Allen is being denied something basic: being judged innocent until proven guilty. “You can give them the facts over and over," Woody says, "But the facts don’t matter. For some reason, emotionally, it’s important for them to buy into the story.” If he was Black, it would be easy to say he's hated for being Black. That he is most obviously Jewish, well, Jews are not a violent minority and his fans aren't going to march on Jeff Bezos' mansion. 

The he said-she said of Allen's case conveniently has leaned toward she said. As long as Woody Allen can still make movies for his small circle of fans, and he's done it even by resorting to going overseas, then few will be that upset. But at any time, all of Woody's films could be pulled from distribution, and never be taught in film classes. He could join Al Jolson and Kate Smith as scapegoats -- "cancelled" by bullying.

It's possible that one day "Jagger the Dagger" could be taught in schools as the truth. Who knows, one day Gene McDaniels could be declared a genius for this song, and "Tower of Strength" banned because "the white man wrote it and the white man made him sing it, and it's a song of weakness and a deliberate attempt to bring him to his knees and take away black power!"

A shade of gray here? McDaniels was a remarkable man. From "100 Pounds of Clay" and"Tower of Strength," he went on to write a brilliant black protest song "Compared to What" (Les McCann and Eddie Harris) as well as the beautiful "Feel Like Making Love" (Roberta Flack). Just as one can still listen to Bob Dylan's 'Hurricane' as a compelling work of art, one can listen to "Jagger the Dagger."

It just helps if people are allowed access to the truth, are allowed to question what somebody says and form their own opinion, and not be drawn along with the "rush to judgment" losers and looters trying to overpower the facts.

The truth is what you always want. COMPARED TO WHAT?

NANCY SINATRA at 80 - Send her “FLOWERS.” Will she thank you? No, “SHE WON’T.”

You might well ask, what IS Nancy Sinatra doing on the “blog of less renown?” And the answer is…aside from “These Boots are Made for Walkin’” and perhaps “How Does That Grab You, Darlin’ and a few duets with Lee Hazlewood,  her music is as obscure as too many others youc can find here. Most have not heard the two offerings below.

The first lost gem, “She Won’t” marked a final meeting between the lustful (but un-consummated) duo of Nancy and Lee. They teamed for two hits in 1968: “Summer Wine” (by Hazlewood) and “Jackson” (by the team of Rogers-Wheeler). They didn’t ignite much interest with “Nancy and Lee Again” in 1972. Over 30 years later, “Nancy & Lee 3” from 2004 hardly got a real release. Most hunted for it via import. “She Won’t” (written by Duane Eddy and Billy Falcon) is sort of a mutual re-telling of “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”

You'll remember that in that Jimmy Webb song, the male narrator expresses his grief, cynicism, resolve and regret in walking out on a good woman. Here, let’s double down: BOTH parties meditate on the break-up and the lingering pain it will cause. Some question if Nancy could sing? Listen to her here: 

In honor of her 80th birthday yesterday (she was born June 8, 1940) you get another lost gem: “Flowers.” It was written by Bobby Cole.

Frank Sinatra was a fan and friend to Bobby. He'd drop into “Ali Baba” or Jilly's or whatever club Bobby was playing in, and often stay for hours. These two Italian tough guys had a lot in common. Frank nearly got Bobby signed to Capitol Records, but…you can figure out how the headstrong and volatile Mr. Cole might’ve sabotaged it. Besides, at the time he was fielding a lot of offers…from Vegas, from Judy Garland, perhaps even from Columbia asking for another album. I’m hazy on this, as I was Bobby’s friend, not his biographer, so I wasn’t taking notes. When he’d spontaneously offer anecdotes about his life and the famous people he knew, he'd clam up if I asked an innocent follow-up question. 

The one time I met and spoke with Nancy Sinatra, I should’ve asked her how she came to record “Flowers,” and how often she saw Bobby perform. But...we were talking mostly about her newest album, and I was wondering about an earlier one, “Nancy,” which still hadn’t appeared on CD. I thought it was one of her best, with a knock-out album cover and a sultry take on “Son of a Preacher Man” among others.

As I recall, Bobby wasn’t all that thrilled with “Flowers.” I’m not sure if the problem was that Nancy wasn’t a “Broadway” singer who could express mercurial mood changes in a theatrical way, or if the arrangement just didn’t send him. I’ll choose the latter.

Being an expert arranger, I’m sure he felt he could’ve done a better job on this rather complex and ambitious and arty pop tune. By the time it was recorded (1973), a variety of complicated tunes had come and gone. These included items that were well over the 3 minute mark, including Webb’s “Macarthur Park” and Orbison’s “Southbound Jericho Parkway.” There were also the somewhat ambitious/pretentious offerings of Dory Previn, Sondheim and many others. Here's  Bobby’s artful jazz ballad of many moods:

Fans all over the world have wished "Happy Birthday" to Nancy Sinatra. OK, she wasn't Frank, but neither was Frank Sinatra Jr., and that was more of a problem. Why expect a woman to sing like her father? Nancy didn't. Know what? She sang like Nancy Sinatra, and to use a favorite Bobby Cole word, that's "UNIQUE."

Jim Carroll - He Rapped (and should've won a Pulitzer)

A few days ago someone mentioned “Basketball Diaries” to me, as if it was a great discovery. Well, for this person, it was. “Have you ever read this book, “Basketball Diaries?” If you haven’t…” Thinking "STFU," I broke in with, “Yes, I read all his books, and I have his records, and I hung with him. Spent an hour discussing that very book, and his male hustler experiences and other amusing things.” Amusing? Yes, Jim had a wry, deadpan sense of humor. He wasn't "the dark poet" in personality. At least not when we spoke. The opposite of "dark," he was ghostly white, and his voice had a Christopher Walken-type of waver, a weary frailty — very much at odds with what he was doing on stage, which was rap-singing with a great deal of passion and power. “I grip the microphone so tight,” he told me, “sometimes my fingers bleed.”

Lately, in the wake of “Black Lives Matter” and all the violence, animosity, and the oh-so-justifiable looting,  I’ve noticed some rage spilling out in social media against all whites, including white rockers. As in: “Whitey stole the black man’s music! Blacks invented rock and roll!” (It's ok to use a racist term like "Whitey" because it's deserved, y'all.)

The world of "boycott this" and "cancel that" may extend to banning Paul McCartney’s Little Richard imitation on "Long Tall Sally," and may lead to stores tossing the music of Keith Richards who stole from Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton who stole from Robert Johnson. Eminem would be shoved under the bus too, for all the years blacks were only on the back of one.

The truth is a bit more complex of course, and we aren't refusing to allow anyone but white Europeans to play and enjoy classical music. When it comes to rap, we just MIGHT be talking about something invented by whites, since American folk music comes mainly from Irish and British and Scottish immigrants. Without a banjo or guitar, some of the poorer ones simply “talked” the lyrics. You can hear Pete Seeger doing it on “The Weavers on Tour” album, “rapping” about an unruly child and horny chickens. 

Influenced by the talking folk material, Dylan emerged with “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and Phil Ochs created a variety of raps such as “Talkin’ Vietnam.” Along the way, there was Rex Harrison “talking” his way through “My Fair Lady” and a lot of other variations. Jim Carroll's “People Who Died” is basically RAP. If he wasn't white ("Lily White" blacks could say without fear of being accused of reverse racism) he might've gotten a Pulitzer. But Kendrick Lamar did, and the reason why is...we live in a political world. It's heightened to an explosive and violent degree. Let's just say Kendrick deserved the Pulitzer, and white people have a fucking nerve even playing music, and damn them Gershwins and Leiber & Stoller and Goffin & King for writing "Summertime" and "Hound Dog" and "Natural Woman" when they're not only WHITE but Jewish, and day-yum, y'all, the Jews have never been persecuted, so what do they know of soul? But I digress.  

Back to rap; it isn't surprising that Jim isn't singing on some tracks. Quite a few New Wave and punk artists, from Richard Hell to Patti Smith, dabbled in a quasi-mix of poetry reading to music (Rexroth, Ferlinghetti and other beat poets did this too). It took a while before some, such as Patti, or Leonard Cohen of a slightly earlier generation, developed any ability to sing, and some never did. “People Who Died” grabs you on the first listen, chokes you, pounds at your heart, disturbs your brain, and when it’s over, you take a deep breath because you’re still alive. Wish Jim still was, but at 60, he just keeled over at his desk; a rather anti-climactic end for somebody who had lived such a dangerous lifestyle for so long.

Below, a zip file of 13 songs that aren’t on the “Best Of” CD, including one of my favorites, the serio-comic “Three Sisters.” It demonstrates Jim’s wicked-wicked sense of humor and his ability to create desultory near-rhymes WELL before the revolutionary idea of impudent rhyme-refusal was STOLEN by rappers. Before Kendrick and his cronies, here’s Jim rhyming “Miranda” with “can’t stand her” and “Raymond Chandler.” The file also has to include “People Who Died," and it does. Jim Carroll Matters.


Friday, May 29, 2020

The Ghostly Moon Martin - Dead at 74

It’s hard to resist some kind of stupid tag line related to John Martin’s nickname. After all, he earned it by writing songs that referenced the moon, even if he never had a hit song doing it (like “Only a Paper Moon”) or had the audacity to actually rhyme moon and June, (as Keith Reid did in “A Salty Dog.”) If one was known for bad taste (and no, this blogger isn’t QUITE), the line would’ve been “The Eclipse of Moon…”

Actually “ghostly” fits better, because Martin was an enigma to most of his fans. Magazines rarely seemed to profile him, and his record label's bio kept even common details about his life a mystery. Even his age was a secret until the end, and even after. Most obits listed his age as 69. Actually, he lied by five years; he was 74 when he died.

His look was pale and haunted, and it befit the title of his first album “Shots from a Cold Nightmare.” He looked like something one of Jimmy Savile’s victims probably still sees in her nightmares…a long-faced, solemn, pale creature with weedy blond hair. There’s nothing, fortunately, to suggest that Moon Martin was as creepy as Savile, but spooky? You bet. His voice was high and faded, and he was fairly bloodless in his videos.

    The Oklahoma-born songwriter wasn’t initially a singer. I checked what’s available on the early bands he was with, including Southwind, and no, he played guitar and that was it. He worked as a session guitarist on Bridget St. John’s 1969 album “Ask Me No Questions” and Linda Ronstadt’s “Silk Purse” in 1969 and her 1971 self-titled album. He was on “Ululu” from Jesse Ed Davis in 1972. How he transitioned into lead vocals, and managed to get signed to Capitol, I have no idea. I have a bunch of publicity releases from Capitol that were sent to disc jockeys and music editors/writers and they tend to focus on what’s on the albums and not any bio material on Martin.

At Capitol, they were selling his music as a new wave version of 50’s rock of the Chuck Berry variety. “Rolene” and “Cadillac Walk” seemed to be in a parallel universe to Chuck’s “Maybelline” and other odes to cars and women…just deadened and whitened. “Rolene” was a Top 30 hit on his “Escape from Domination” album, and his label was gratified to see him headline in Europe and open for Cheap Trick in America. Having spawned two cover hits from his first album (via Mink DeVille ("Cadillac Walk") and Robert Palmer ("Bad Case of Loving You") and seeing him at least get into the charts on his own via "Rolene" and "No Chance," Capitol took a chance and re-signed Martin for another two-album deal.

They seemed to be pleased to keep Moon Martin a mysterious figure, too. The “Street Fever” press kit didn’t include info on Moon’s private life and interests. The opening line for the “Media Information” sheet that accompanied “Mystery Ticket” was deliberately vague: “Romance and intrigue - your mystery ticket into the shadowy world of Moon Martin, whose lyrical vignettes evoke provocative universal imagery.” Oh. Ok.

Martin’s lifeless singing on “Victim of Romance” (he definitely sounded like a victim, drained of blood) didn't get much airplay, but cover versions helped...impassioned vocals by Michelle Phillips and Lisa Burns (and “Je Suis Victime de l’Amour” from Johnny Hallyday). 

Among other interesting cover versions of Moon Martin songs: “Paid the Price” by Nick Lowe (on “Abominable Showman”), “I’ve Got a Reason” by Rachel Sweet (on “Protect the Innocent”), “My Eye On You” (co-written with Bill House) by Bette Midler on “No Frills,” “She’s Made a Fool Of You” by The Searchers (on “Love’s Melodies”), and “Bad Case of Loving You” by Koko Taylor on “Force of Nature.”

Cover versions helped Martin's bank account, but fans of ill music preferred Moon Martin’s own versions,  and the eerie somnambulistic Dr. Caligari-like musical landscape he created on his very black vinyl. The MTV generation glimpsed him briefly on “X-Ray Vision,” a pulsating, menacing little number that was given a fairly limp and enigmatic visualization where Moon was on a train, some kind of Disorient express....then running down alleys, getting strapped down by a mad interrogator, and...oh, but it was all a dream. Or was it? In his prime, as Capitol publicity noted, he was popular in Italy, Germany and other European countries (more than in America).

The better vintage clips on him seem to be from German TV. Capitol noted in promoting “Mystery Ticket,” that his previous, third album (“Street Fever”) did very well overseas, and it “firmly established Moon as a recording atist of major import in Europe. In France, for example, the single ‘Bad News” enjoyed a run of ore than 20 weeks in the Top 10 on the radio charts. New markets such as Italy and Spain caught “Street Fever,” and chart success in Australia indicdated fans were also jumping on the Moon bandwagon Down Under.” Capitol had every reason to figure the second album in their contract would also do well. Robert Palmer was producing (Andrew Gold also produced a cut) and Martin had managed to become the opening act for some American dates by Nick Lowe’s Rockpile.

What turned out to be the last Capitol album, “Mystery Ticket,” was, as usual, loaded with menacing, dark songs of misery, despair and heartbreak. Fulfilling his chosen nickname-first name, several had moon rhymes. From “Deeper Into Love” — “I raise the curtain to the moon. I see her eyes calling Johnny take me soon.” From “Chain Reaction” — “I fee a heartbreak comin’ on soon. Shadows fallin’ on the moon.” And from “Paid the Price” — “Dark night, dark moon. It came on so soon. I paid the price lovin’ you.” Hmm, no, it wouldn’t have been the same if he’d been called “Soon Martin.”

One song, a co-write with Jude Cole, had a faint touch if humor to it: “She’s in love with my car…she sure ain’t in love with me.” As for the hard-driving, symphonic disaster “X-Ray Vision,” that was actually another rare co-write. It was actually handed to him fairly complete by the Team of Pete Sinfield (the King Crimson lyricist) and Terry Taylor:

“For two or thee years, I had been playing around with the title “X-Ray Vision” for a song, but I couldn’t come up with any story I liked. Then, when I was doing my last European tour, Pete Sinfield and Terry Taylor approached me with a song called, of all things, “X-Ray Vision.” All I had to do was slightly alter the lyrics to make it more consistent with my other tunes, and make minor arrangements changes.”

From there, Moon Martin seemed to take almost a decade off, and re-surfaced on indie labels. He turned up at small venues where camcorder footage shows him to have remained totally stoic and disconnected from whatever audience was or wasn’t paying attention. He looked the same as ever, which at this point might suggest to people a strange cross between Jimmy Savile and Andy Dick.

(When Capitol was sending me Martin albums, I’d never heard of Savile, and Andy Dick wasn’t old enough to buy booze and become drunk and annoying in a bar). However, with more normal hair and in a better mood, he looked and acted far less spooky in the rare interview you can access below.

Like Keith Reid, it turned out that when he wasn’t being elusive, he could almost seem friendly; detached but at least communicative. Actually some of his mannerisms seem a bit similar to Woody Allen’s (Woody in real life, not doing the fake pausing, halting and head shaking).

A friend of Moon's, Sean Householder, gave an insight on his last days, posting it on something called Celebrity Access: "He was 74 years old, and he had become a little frail over the last few years…He went to sleep in a big easy chair in his living room with a book in his hand, a blanket in his lap, and a little glass of Coke on the nightstand next to him. He left this world as peacefully as anybody could ever hope to."

The download:


    Sometimes a file here stops working for some weird reason or other, and/or some people may be in a part of the world where they can’t access my server for downloads.

    Some find it it tedious to download one song at a time. So…here’s a Zippyshare zip file Top 20, featuring some memorable or just weird female performers who have been profiled on the blog.  No, none of 'em are THESE broads:

1.    Everything I’ve Got - HONOR BLACKMAN
2.    Tom Dooley - TAMMY GRIMES
3.    Good Lovin’ - JANE MORGAN
4.     Tschitschibum - TRUDE HERR
5.    I Don’t - DANIELLE PECK
6.    Pretty Purple Panties - JUDE KASTLE
7.    Stay As Sick as You Are - KATIE LEE
8.    Lay Me Like a Lady - JENNY DARREN
9.    Pinky the Penguin - CONNIE FRANCIS
10.    Killing Me Softly With His Song - LORI LIEBERMAN
11.    Da Doo Rendezvous - VALERIE CARTER
12.    Pussy X - KAS PRODUCT
13.    Son of a Preacher Man - NICOLETTA
14.    Tower of Strength - PEARL BAILEY
15.    They Didn’t Believe Me - LOLA ALBRIGHT
16.    L. David Sloane - KAY GARNER
17.    I Get Along Without You Very Well - BEA WAIN
18.    Boy (Girl) - SUSAN SMITH
19.    Sur un prélude de Bach - MAURANE
20.    If You Want it Easy - PATTI DAHLSTROM



Heavy metal was what Jack the Ripper wielded, and it's no surprise that the favorite bad guy for metal bands to sing about is a real murderer, not make-believe monster.

Ripper fans include: Judas Priest, Motorhead, Chemical Romance, The Horrors, Screaming Lord Sutch, The White Stripes, AFI, Buckethead, Iced Earth and One Way Street. Let's not forget guys like Link Wray, who recorded his own "Jack the Ripper" instrumental rumble, though he might have imagined a surfer Jack ripping the waves.  Included here is "Whores in da House" by Jack the Ripper, just to document that rappers, of course, find this guy a role model, too.

Unlike Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Wolfman, the Phantom of the Opera etc., the Ripper existed. He made a hobby out of killing prostitutes. A hobby for "buffs" through the 20th and into the 21st Century, is trying to guess, based on idiotic "clues," who the Ripper really was. This naturally seems to rely on famous people who can be more easily traced than some anonymous nut. Ah, it MUST be a royal. Ah, it MUST be a famous painter. Ahhh...fuck and off.

There is no certainty about how many victims there were (between 5 and 19), if there was more than one Ripper, or why the killings stopped. Almost all evidence and every theory can be believed or ripped to pieces. Eyewitnesses differ on specifics (the cloaked Ripper in a top hat is folklore too). Movies paint the ladies as young and beautiful when they were in fact middle-aged dregs, some toothless, who sold themselves cheap in a slum area of London (not Hull, not Grimsby). Making the victims more sexually attractive only further fogs up the motives in the case.

There are 14 Jack the Ripper songs well as seven of the most evocative tracks from two Ripper movies, "Jack the Ripper" (score by Pete Rugolo, 1959) and "Study in Scarlet." 21 download tracks. That's rippin' a lot of Rippers....

21 RIPS on the RIPPER

TISH...THAT'S FRENCH! Hot songs & cover versions sung in the language of love....


Here's a lot of French-singing ladies from Canada, France and Europe. It's a pretty smooth and lush collection. No distracting ye-ye girls, no punque babes, not even the gurgling trill of Piaf or the high-pitched chirping of the late (as of a few days ago, at the age of 103) Lily Lian.

Below is mostly an assortment of oddities and lovely and sexy obscurities. Most all qualify for the Ill Folks blog because they may be hugely famous in French-speaking nations, but are mostly unknown to English-speakers. All will sound fine, however, played through German speakers on a device made in Japan, or whatever your set-up happens to be.

Pardon the digression (you don't have to read it)'s quite sad (QUE LASTIMA!) that FRENCH, once considered the language of love, and also the language of diplomacy, is now hardly taught in schools anywhere but in France. Or maybe Belgium. The United States is now practically bilingual -- with SPANISH the intrusion. Dial up a government agency or a big business or institution of any kind, OR, get a recorded message from one, and you'll likely hear "For English, press one, para ESPANOL, dos!"

The reason is simple. Overpopulation. Also, unlike every other group of immigrants who came to America, the Latinos don't give a fucko about speaking English, and know that they can now get away with NOT bothering. As in, "If you want to watch this boxing match with a Spanish translation, use the SAP channel..." And here's subtitles en Espanol. And anyone who is getting a headache from this shit, cierra la boca. If you don't, you'll have the same fate as lawyer Aaron Schlossberg, who got picketed at his home and kicked out of his office for grumbling at Spanish speakers at a restaurant. 

No doubt in the U.K. soon, the bilingual language will be Arabic. There was a time when people who immigrated learned the language and customs of the host country. That's not the case anymore, and guess what, all it's done is push us farther apart, as speakers of foreign languages keep to themselves and plot to themselves. CAPISCE?? 

What's in the zip file...

1. Carole Laure. Nyuk, a Canuck. "Save The Last Dance for Me" in French. This sexy actress began recording in the 70's, so her albums aren't ancient volumes of forgotten Laure.

2. Francine Laine. Not named after Frankie. Have you ever had a French girl talking urgently and emotionally to you? Me neither. This may fulfill your fantasies: "Moi Sensuelle." Your imagination may be better than the real lyrics.

3. Annie Villeneuve. "Tomber a l'eau." I was drawn to any song with "Tomber" in it, till I learned it has nothing to do with tombs. Catchy power pop from a Canadian who'll make you want to go over the border.

4. Julie. Why go by one name? It makes an Internet search impossible. I found this on a compilation lp of French hits. "Maria Magdalene" may be a religious tune but it has a nice bossa nova rhythm to it. It also has a timeless quality. Meaning, I don't know when it was recorded.

5. Marie LaForet. "Marie Douceur (Paint it Black)." In the 60's she was a stunner, the kind you'd buy just for the album cover. And yes, she could sing, too. This is one of her most passionate cover versions.

6. Nicole Rieu. "Have You Never Been Mellow" in French? "Me Maison Au Bord de L'eau"

7. Dalida sang in many languages, often in French. The selected tune, a polished Abba-esque commercial pop piece, will get you bouncing your baguette. The song is "Mourir su scene." I was surprised at how catchy-happy the song was, since I thought "Mourir" might have to do with mourning, or being morbid in some way. OK, she died too young, and by suicide; that's morbid.

8. Jane Birkin. "Le Sex Shop." She joins Serge Gainsbourg again. You know their more obvious and orgasmic hit single (which is on the blog in the Bardot version, elsewhere). This one ended a film's humorous if slightly melancholy look at a guy's brief entry into the skin trade.

9. Zizi Jeanmaire. A legendary old broad. This is a Serge Gainsbourg song nastily called "Merde a l'amour," and it's sung in a vaudevillian way. You can just imagine the visual, a cakewalk on a street full of dog poop. Or am I romanticizing?

10. Maurane. No, that isn't a weather forecast, that's this Belgium star's name. "Prelude de Bach" takes the familiar tune into lush territory (ie, a saloon where a lush will drink and sob imagining his own sad translation).

11. Monique Gaube. "To Sir With Love" in French. You'd take a French lesson from this teacher.

12. Christien Pilzer. "Dracula." This was 40 years ago. Why she was singing about le vampire is probably a buried secret by now.

13. France Gall. "Resiste." Do you have the gall to resist a woman who is such a credit to France?

14. Veronique Sanson. "Longue Distance." Like Carly or Joni in the 70's and 80's, Vero was a superstar in France during those decades, and is still a legend. Her great melodies were spiced with Island rhythms at times. In America she's vaguely known as "wasn't she married to Stephen Stills? Mom of Chris?"

15. Sandrine Kiberlain. "Le quotid." This heartbreaker also starred in the cult film "Monsieur Hire" as, what else, a heartbreaker. The film's moody, erotic and depressing. Her songs are mostly erotic.

16. Mylene Farmer. "L'amour n'est rien." She took her last name as an homage to Frances Farmer. She's written a song about Edgar A. Poe. Her videos are strange, erotic, and often gothic. I could write endlessly about her, with a pen dipped in blood. She's sometimes foolishly called "the Madonna of France" for her popularity among gays and her flirtations with dance music and dopey background dances doing their ridiculous aerobics routines. Despite duets with Moby, Sting, and some Dylan-haired lesbo (she even got on puppy Fallon's show with Sting) she's not cracked the English-speaking markets. 

17. Francoise Hardy. "Tant de belles choses." The trifecta of French pop superstars
would be Francoise, Veronique and Mylene over the past 40 years. They overlap, and if you're listening or watching them, you'd overlap, too.

18. Julie Zenatti. "Toutes Les Couleurs." We end with some sweet French pastry...the translation is simple enough: "All the Colors."