Friday, 26 June 2015

Farewell to the bowler

RIP possibly the most stylish man on the planet...

Daniel Patrick Macnee (6th February 1922 – 25th June 2015)

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Birds without irony?

“The reason I called it Pink Flamingos was because the movie was so outrageous that we wanted to have a very normal title that wasn’t exploitative. The only people who had [flamingos in their garden] had them for real, without irony. My movie wrecked that.” - John Waters

Sad news. The creator of possibly the most influential piece of plastic in cultural history, that epitome of kitsch, the plastic pink flamingo garden ornament - Don Featherstone has died.

From Improbable Research website:
Don created the flamingo when he was freshly graduated from art school, and newly employed at a plastics factory. One of his first assignments was to create three-dimensional plastic lawn ornaments (up to that time, most plastic lawn ornaments were more or less flat). The flamingo was one of his earliest efforts for the factory.

Eventually he became president of the company. After Don retired, dire things were done, by his successor, to the flamingo, triggering a worldwide protest, which eventually led to a more or less happy rallying of the forces of Good, and a restoration of the plastic pink flamingo’s status. In 2011, the flamingo attained new heights, when the Disney movie Gnomeo and Juliet featured a plastic pink lawn ornament named “Featherstone”.
RIP Mr Featherstone. I hope your headstone is appropriately shaped and coloured...

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Bless the balmy air

Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
- Henry James

Say, then say, what is this day,
That it lingers thus with half-closed eyes,
When the sunset is quenched and the orient ray
Of the roseate moon doth rise,
Like a midnight sun o'er the skies!
'Tis the longest, the longest of all the glad year,
The longest in life and the fairest in hue,
When day and night, in bridal light,
Mingle their beings beneath the sweet blue,
And bless the balmy air!

- George Meredith

It is Midsummer's Day, the Longest Day, the Summer Solstice.

Enjoy the daylight - it's the best we are going to get!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

I think today should be...

...a "Say Something" Hat Day!

Don't you?

Today is Royal Ascot "Ladies' Day". Let's see if anyone there can come up with anything as classy....

Sunday, 14 June 2015

It's like living with some boozy old barmaid who's trashed the place

"You need two things in a riot - flat shoes and a pram."

"That's not cellulite - that's a bar stool mark!"

"Life's too short to clean an oven."

"I'm sick of fellas. Think I'll become a lesbian. At least you get to wear flat shoes."

"PVC's great. You can wipe off anything that comes at you."

As the "lady" herself might say - "Fuck me! Lil's sixty!"

Yes, it is indeed the 60th birthday today of Britain's favourite telly entertainer, chat show host and Radio 2 presenter (and former drag queen - he put his alter ego Lily Savage to rest a couple of years ago) Mr Paul O'Grady.

"I've frequently been asked over the years who Lily Savage was based on and I've always answered that it was no one in particular and she was just a figment of my imagination. The truth, I realise now, is that Lily owes a lot to the women I encountered in my childhood." [Like] " auntie Chrissie, who was a clippie on the buses. She had a hard life, but she used to suck her cheeks in and fancy herself as Marlene Dietrich."

[As he said in 1995] "Lily gets in the way. I play second fiddle to her all the time. I sometimes come in to my flat, and there's a leopardskin handbag on the floor, and a pair of her shoes and an old coat - and it's like living with some boozy old barmaid who's trashed the place. I think, 'Slag!' and start muttering about her under me breath."

We still love Lily, however! Here's "The Birkenhead Bombshell" in full flood:

And let's not forget that classic Royal Variety Performance...

Many happy returns, Paul James Michael O'Grady, MBE (born 14th June 1955)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

I'll stick with it!

"I'll stick with gin. Champagne is just ginger ale that knows somebody." - Hawkeye, M*A*S*H

"The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally got gin in the steam iron." - Phyllis Diller

"A perfect Martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy." – Noël Coward

"I exercise strong self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast." — W.C. Fields

"I like to have a Martini, two at the very most; three, I'm under the table, four I'm under my host!" - Dorothy Parker

It's World Gin Day!


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

On the Jukebox at Dolores Delargo Towers - special edition

RIP James Last, maestro of Easy Listening.

Some of "Hansi"'s musical gems may be found over at my Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle blog here and here.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Our in-house journal

Sleeve notes: "Camp is coming in like King Kong, so we've devised this handy little guide to show you the Ins and Outs and all the in-betweens you need to know about (1) what Camp is, and (2) how to do it, as it were."

Contents include: "How's Your Camp I.Q.?", "Is The American Flag Camp Or Pop?", and "Hold A Camp Hoot".

Read more about The Camp Followers' Guide at Print magazine's website

Friday, 5 June 2015

At least I didn't fake it

“I did jazz clubs in Greenwich Village, went on the Playboy circuit, that sort of thing. I wasn’t doing badly, but I needed that gimmick, something to make me different, unique.”

Jim Bailey certainly was "different", not least for the fact that his skilful "transformations" into a whole array of showbiz leading ladies - Phyllis Diller, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Mae West, even Madonna - gained him prime-time television slots, and top billing at some of the world's most prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and the London Palladium.

Such was his skill that he even performed as "Judy" opposite the real Liza to recreate their famous 1960s London concert appearance. In real life, he was close friends with mother and daughter. His "Miss Diller" impression landed him a slot in character on one of Lucille Ball's TV shows, and as "Miss Streisand" he wowed TV audiences with a coveted duet with Carol Burnett.

When asked how he’d like to be remembered, he said: “Isn’t that something they ask Miss Idaho on the pageant? OK - I don’t want to be remembered as one of those guys who wore a dress and pretended to be female. I want to be remembered for the uniqueness of the art form I created. Not just lip-synching, not just wearing dresses, but singing, acting, the make-up, the details - the Full Monty.”

As Judy - Get Happy:

As Barbra - Don't Rain On My Parade:

RIP James William "Jim" Bailey (10th January 1938 – 30th May 2015)