Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gillian's Found Photo #64

This week's found photo is dated Oct. '67.  Place unknown, but it sure seems like California. The kind of girl Brian Wilson wrote songs about. I imagine her dancing to the Byrds at Ciro's on the Sunset Strip.  A couple of years later she might have put in some time at the Spahn Ranch (as did Beach Boy Dennis Wilson), or with the Weather Underground or even at the Playboy Mansion. Today she would have half dozen facial piercing, or have her non-existant flaws rebuilt by a plastic surgeon for that ever popular "half melted Barbie" look that for some inexplicable reason some modern women feel makes them look better. Personally I like women just the way they are, flaws and all. Any one want to guess what she's staring off at?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

All Fall Down (1962)

All Fall Down- Beatty as his sleazy best.

Hoo-boy. Hot on the heels of Splendor In The Grass, in which he plays a good boy so gosh darn good he wouldn't even screw carpenter's dream Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty starred in this little remembered but highly entertaining flick playing a women abusing sleaze bag. I'd say it might be his best role ever. I caught John Frankenhiemer's All Fall Down for the first time recently on late night cable where it followed Splendor... in one of TCM's theme nights, and it made quite on impression. With a script by William Inge (Splendor, Bus Stop, Picnic), and a solid cast headed by On The Waterfront's lip quivering co-star Eva Marie Saint as the thirty something virgin Echo O'Brien (great name),  Shane's Brandon De Wilde as Beatty's obnoxiously good little brother and Karl Malden and Angela Lansbury as the long suffering parents, this one really packs a punch. Beatty would go on to become a major scenery chomping star with Bonnie & Clyde (1966) and then a major embarrassment with Ishtar (1987) and the  rapping politician Bullworth (1998) (those two seemed to have effectively ended his career), but left to someone else's devices he was actually an excellent actor.  In this day and age of diminished cinematic expectations, All Fall Down stands out as a forgotten, if not classic, at least (low) class act.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Howlin Wolf at 101.

With Hubert Sumlin and a cool guitar.
Early deodorant ad.
Well worth the $1.00.
He just swallowed his harmonica.
At Sylvio's, '64.
Early shot, another cool guitar.
At home in Chicago, a White Sox fan?
Back at Sylvios.
Yet another cool guitar.

Upsetting the folks at a Folk Festival.

 European TV, '66.

Howlin' Wolf (born Chester Arthur Burnett outside of West Point, Mississippi, June 10, 1910, died January 10, 1976) would have been 101 today, had he lived. If they dug him up and stuck his bones onstage he'd still be better than 99.9% of what passes for blues or rock'n'roll these days. I've already blogged on him before (here and here), so I have little to add, except he remains my very favorite singer, and when ever I hear so and so (name your most overrated singer here) is a great "soul" singer, I want to stick a Howlin' Wolf 78 in their ear. If you are not familiar with Wolf's music, start with his early Chess and RPM sides, then the un-issued Sun Sessions, forget the psychedelic "birdshit" album, the London Sessions and SuperBlues jams unless you are a completist. For further reading I suggest James Segrest and Mark Hoffman's Moanin' At Midnight: The Life and Times Of Howlin' Wolf (Pantheon Books, 2004). Happy Birthday Wolf, where ever you are.

Let's Hear It For The Orchestra

Let's Hear It For The Orchestra
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