The Greatest Musical Performance of All Time and Space, in Any Universe, Anywhere

I think I have that outfit at home, actually

I think I have that outfit at home, actually

Pretty much. Oh, you have your Rebecca Blacks. You have your Posh Spices. But you could have a whole Spice Rack of untalented songbirds, put them all together, and they still wouldn’t sound anywhere near as bad as this:

That is the immortal Jonathan Edwards on piano, accompanying his showstopper of a vocalizing wife, Darlene, performing the Bee Gee’s greatest tune, Stayin’ Alive. That’s “vocalizing” like Siamese cats vocalize when you slam their tales in car doors. And you have Bunk Strutts to thank for the fact that I have a new favorite musical act.

 

Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, explained. Sorta
Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, explained. Sorta

Jonathan and Darlene Edwards will always work. Some people have no tolerance for failed art. It just gives them goosebumps. The enlightened mind, however, has boundless appreciation for an artist putting him/herself out there and failing spectacularly. Even though the Edwardses (real names: were Jo Stafford and Paul Weston) were perfectly functional pro musicians (he pianoed while she sang), they are remembered now for acting clueless. The tragedy of artistic failure is deeply funny to me – even when faked – and it takes an artist of great courage to pretend they are completely inept. Apart from music like this, such failure can be found in Mystery Science Theater and various portfolio submissions from job applicants, but for differing reasons.

Jonathan and Darlene were truly underappreciated in their own time, despite a grammy win in 1960, but enjoyed a late renaissance in the Seventies with the release of this epic effort, along with the very of-its-time “I Am Woman.”

Kickass Love

Boom

Truly, there is no justice in a world in which such a dynamite tale of romance hasn’t been made into a Bruce Willis movie (am I showing my age? okay, fine, Michael Bay movie, then. happy now?). I’ve stolen this tender, yet explosive vignette from a 12-year-old copy of the Tatler, and will here retell it in my own words, both because I like the sound of them and because who knows whether or not this Gerald Harper person may have a particularly aggressive intellectual property lawyer.

So, this Gerald Harper actor-sometime-magazine-writer-person tells a story he heard from a certain John Mills, artist-person. Who I also hope is unpossessed of an aggressive intellectual property lawyer, because these days you can’t even gossip about YOURSELF without somebody suing you for invading your own privacy and, well, you just can’t be too careful.

Not that I’ve ever tried.

In any case, howeversomeitbe, if it pleases the jury, this is what said John Mills told said Gerald Harper, and then Harper turned right around and got one pound sterling a word or thereabouts for it, which proves the pecking order of the arts world and the pen is mightier than the brush, or at least has a better agent, don’t it?

Mills was a navy officer whose job did not, surprisingly, involve a lot of time on boats. He was, you see, a demolition expert, and those people are not really so much in demand on the open ocean because, that famous whale notwithstanding (and it couldn’t even withstand a couple of hot days on the beach, and you can watch the video yourself if you doubt me which you should never do unless I say I’ll pay you by Thursday and then you get what you deserve) there are not a lot of explosive materials or substrates right handy once you get out at sea. There’s a lot of water, a fish or two, and far too many smug, retired couples who insist that you call their glorified dingies “yachts.” Which, however much you may want to blow them up, you couldn’t, because they probably play bridge with some retired relative of yours who’d be annoyed at losing a pair of easy marks.

So, despite being a naval officer, this Mills person spent most of his time on terra firma, rendering parts of it significantly less firm and, not infrequently, airborne. This has to be some kind of elaborate prank of the navy’s on the army, surely? In any case, it’s a heck of a job description and I can’t think of many pleasanter ways to spend your career if you’re the kind of man who grew up reading exciting Boy’s Only books and rigging snares and messing around in the basement trying to make your own guncotton and feeding seagulls fish stuffed with baking soda (not that I know any men like that, no indeed, and I would have turned them right over to the Society for the Preservation of Shithawks if I’d met any, of that you may be sure). Most particularly if you find yourself in the navy and you don’t really like, you know, boats and stuff.

So Mills was trundling across Europe, blowing up whatever the powers that be wanted blown, and speaking of which, he met a girl.

It so happened that he had a little time off, and he and his fair lady spent many a pleasant hour picnicking and partaking of other pleasures on a particular little hillock somewhere north of Rouen. Now, a note to those of a pedantic turn of mind: you might as well close that tab you opened on Google Earth. You won’t find it. And why not?

Because, on their last evening together, lying on the little hill, the lady leaned in and sighed, “Oh my darling Jean, I ‘ate to zink zat anybody will use our ‘ill.”

So the next day, he blew it up.

Who says chivalry is dead?



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Quote of the Day: On Bettie Page

Bettie Page mirror mirror

Just how much was she the mistress of desire, and how much a mere meat puppet?

We’ve stared at her photos for so many decades, looked into those eyes and perceived so many countless life-affirming fantasies. We’ve assigned to her superhuman attributes on the basis of a consistently and profoundly confidant photographic demeanor. Given the brutal facts of her post-pinup life, we’re left to wonder whether we can still sustain the precious illusion…

It takes very little introspection to arrive at one of the primary reasons for Bettie Page’s appeal. Her image, as silently projected through thousands of photos (and even a few hundred yards of film), creates a personal illusion for each and every one of us. The mystery is almost sacred. We have no idea who she is, yet each of us feels as though she’s a personal friend. We are convinced her smile is genuine. We are assured that her grimace is a put-on.


This is a Blogathon post. Don’t just sit there, SPONSOR ME!

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Hot Chick Post: Bettie Page, Living Legend, In Critical Condition

Bettie Page, the notorious
Bettie Page, the notorious

Bettie Page, the wholesomest stripper the world has ever seen and probably the original model for BOTH Betty and Veronica, is hospitalized in critical condition in Los Angeles after a heart attack. The 85-year-old legend is reported to be in a coma at an unnamed LA-area hospital.

Here is some video of Bettie in her glory days of 1950, stripping with her trademark smile and a wink (and slight White Girl’s Rhythm).

from CelebritySmack

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull trailer

You must contain yourself when watching this video, which I stole from Gawker, but only up to the point at which you see the shadow of the fedora. At that point, you may begin screaming uncontrollably or muttering “drat that Jones! I’ll foil him yet,” as you prefer. Behold the greatness which is Doctor Henry Jones, Junior

Did I mention I still have that hat, the coolest in all creation, which I bought on the last day Woodwards was open? Yes, an official Indiana Jones hat from Stetson, I think it was, though the original was Herbie Jones, which I of course and naturally cannot afford; the information printed inside has long since been worn away and the hat has become battered, faded and stained in propa Indy manner. It was once splashed by an Orca on the rocks near Not-Ucluelet. This is what you call adventure cred, my friends. My hat has more than most actual people.

Indiana Jones hat, the real thing

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