Scott Walker is a proper artist. Born in the US, but finding fortune and fame in the UK, at the height of his Walker Brothers ’60s celebrity, with pop hits and screaming girls a plenty, he turned his back on it all to follow his own unique path, inspired by the music of Belgian born French recording icon Jacques Brel, who, in a strange twist of fate, he’d first heard at the flat of a bunny girl he’d picked up at the Playboy Club’s opening-night party in London.
ARTIST: GRACE JONES
This Sunday (March 6th), at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
Happy Valentine’s – going back in time to ’69 with what many regarded as a decidedly dirty little ditty back then. Taking the boudoir to the studio, Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg with the once scandalous, now somewhat quaint ‘Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus’:
This recently discovered footage of an American housewife being filmed in 1956 during an experimental LSD session got me thinking about a couple of other classic trip clips.
On January 20th, I did something I’ve never done previously. I stood before an audience and, for close on an hour, talked about my musical journey – from when I was a child in New Brighton, right up to what I’m doing nowadays. I’ve been in similar situations before, where I was being interviewed, or I was interviewing someone else, but I’ve never stood alone and spoken for so long.
Just come across an interview I did last year where I was asked what my favourite dance move was:
One of my favourite things about Christmas is that it provides the opportunity for me to give an annual listen or two to what some would regard as Pop’s first concept album – the seasonal masterpiece, ‘A Christmas Gift For You’ (aka ‘Phil Spector’s Christmas Album’) issued on Spector’s Philles label, which was originally released at the height of the seminal producer’s powers (although, inauspiciously, on the very day JFK was assassinated – November 22nd 1963).
I’ve always been surprised by the amount of people who are completely unaware of this film, especially given that Dustin Hoffman plays the leading role. I watched it again the other night (for the umpteenth time) and it never fails to warm the heart.
For my 50th blog post, I’m going to return to the ‘My First…’ theme that was so well received (‘My First 12”’ and ‘My First X’, both back in July), and ask an even more obvious question – what was the first record you ever purchased (the one you paid for with your own money, rather than it being bought for you – be it 7”, LP, 12”, cassette, CD or even eight-track)?
If you’ve not yet seen Jeremy Paxman’s interview with Russell Brand for the BBC’s Newsnight last month it’s well worth checking out. A compelling perspective on celebrity culture by someone both embroiled in it, yet fully aware of its ludicrousness.