‘Seems like I don’t get to wear my bare feet at all’: Alejandro Rose-Garcia aka Shakey Graves, a poem in a white ribbed vest

arg2alejandro -

his solemn childlike

heart-shaped face,

unruly brows above

a placid and untroubled

expression, he’s a poem

in a white ribbed vest.

 

argandmikehe awkwardly holds

his own arms as if

feeling himself to

make sure he’s real

and still all there.

or as if just in need

of a little affection.

 

arg1nods and smiles

and ducks his head

to compliments that

summon up his shyness,

along with pinkness

to his cheeks, and leave

him uncertain where

to place his gaze.

 

argandguitaran innocence

spills out from him

like radiance

from the sun

behind a cloud

(or a light from under the door

of the room next door).

 

his cheeks rosy

and guileless

betray a slight unease.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

but his heart is open

like an outstretched

hand offered to

a lone horse

in a stranger’s

field.

 

Timothy Olyphant and Jeremy Renner: a match made in Modesto, California and played out for us on the big and small screens

timhat

The role of Raylan has won him acclaim but Tim still keeps a weather eye on that Jeremy Renner.

I remember seeing an interview with Timothy Olyphant a while back. I’m unable to locate it  now, unfortunately, but let me know if you find it. Any Tim appearance is an undeniably entertaining prospect – he’s happy to riff on anything from stealing stuff from movie sets to wondering why his kids consistently fail to recognise how cool he is.

But in this one, he was talking about his mother and her attitude to his success. It quickly transpired that, never mind about the unappreciative offspring, he may not be all that as far as Mom’s concerned either.

It sounds like he is destined to come forever second in her estimation to ‘that Jeremy Renner’, as Tim’s mum is wont to refer to the other well-known actor from the Justified star’s hometown of Modesto, in California.

modesto

Modesto, CA: water, wealth, contentment, health.

As in ‘That Jeremy Renner’s in another movie’; ‘That Jeremy Renner film won an award’; ‘That Jeremy Renner’s been nominated for an Oscar’. I can imagine Tim biting his knuckles each time his maternal parent comments on TJR’s latest triumph.

Some mothers have an infuriating tendency to notice a neighbour’s kid and eulogise their every deed while their own progeny seethe in repressed resentment and envy. Whatever they do, they are doomed to fall short in comparison to the paragon down the road or from the same school. An unspoken rivalry develops, of which the much-lauded kid is blissfully ignorant.

My mum used to rave about the kids two houses down till we got heartily sick of hearing how much better, cuter, blonder,[1] more accomplished, etc. than us they were. And it looks like Tim has his work cut out trying to match the achievements of ‘that Jeremy Renner’.

jeremyrenner

Renner in a relaxed mode, probably not even aware they hail from the same town.

The two actors attended the same school, Fred C. Beyer High, though Tim has a couple of years on Jeremy. I know who I think is ageing better, however.

Jeremy Lee Renner was born in Modesto and went on to junior college in the town. While Timothy David Olyphant was born in Honolulu and studied Fine Art at the University of Southern California. I’m thinking that’s a more prestigious institution than Modesto Junior College. So score one to Tim.

Tim swam competitively at USC after making the final of the National Championships in the 200m Individual Medley in 1986. But both Modesto boys also took theatre and acting electives at college, prompting a change of direction.

It would be interesting to know if Jeremy is similarly dogged by Tim’s successes – if someone in his family constantly holds these up against his own to see how he measures up.

Talking about measuring up, Tim at 6’ is a couple of inches taller than Jeremy, at least. Score two to Timothy.

But although Facebook Olyphandom seems to increase by about 10,000 every day despite minimal posting, he’s still lagging behind the Rennster, whose following is growing at a similarly impressive rate. Score one to Jeremy.

Timothy is yet to headline a major dramatic movie although he has starred in perfectly creditable thrillers such as A Perfect Getaway and Hitman and horrors like The Crazies. Jeremy, however, began in a similar vein with parts in stuff like 28 Weeks Later but was soon feted for his role in The Hurt Locker, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination and many other Best Actor awards.

Awards, schmawards, I hear Olyphacionados[2] cry. And I’d be the first to agree that awards don’t always go to the most deserving. Must look good on your résumé though. So score two to Jeremy Lee. (Plus he took his mother to the Oscars when he was nominated. Imagine how that went down with Ma Olyphant.)

Tim’s plaudited stint as Marshal Raylan Givens in Justified is set to end with this final season without any Emmy (although he was once nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series). Although fun (and at times definitely sexy) to watch the cowboy-hatted one’s shambolic progress in his Kentucky of Oxycontin dealers, old frenemies and luckless whores, I don’t think the part stretched Tim’s acting chops all that much. But the trigger-happy lawman was at least a complex character replete with fallibilities galore, offset by charm and a fundamental honesty. And with he and nemesis Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) forever thrown into each other’s paths (and sometimes arms), the dynamic was at least always compelling (I look at such duelling bromantic relationships here).

bullock-2

Seriously? Not another asterisking nomination …

Oly’s previous TV work included the role of Seth Bullock in Deadwood,[3] parts in Damages, cameos in The Office, Sex and the City and more recently The Mindy Project.

It remains to be seen whether the Olyphantastic one will move back into film once released from Justified and what kind of parts he’ll get offered.

Renni has eschewed long-term TV series for film work in the main.[4] His last dramatic movie outing was in 2013’s obscenely successful American Hustle, which saw him in the illustrious company of such award darlings as Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper. Together the ensemble scooped the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The picture was nominated for Oscars in several categories but failed to pick any up.[5]

Other ventures in production and post-production are all action movie sequels, including an unnamed Bourne follow-up, a second Mission Impossible flick and another Avengers outing, all I’m sure gratifyingly lucrative but excuse me while I stifle a yawn.

I’m a great fan of Olyphant’s sense of humour, as explored in a previous blog. He’s a stimulating participant in any talk show roster and has joked about possibly hosting his own show. He certainly outwits the hosts when it comes to repartee. I also like the fact that he always seems to drink whatever’s provided for him.[6]

Jezza can seem a little earnest in comparison, even nobly taking on the mantle of a United Nations Goodwill Peace Ambassador to promote mine-clearing in Afghanistan. I can’t imagine him doing decidedly average Robert Wagner impressions, which Timothy can oblige you with at a moment’s notice. And which Bonnie Hunt characterised as Tim sounding like William Shatner doing Robert Wagner. To which Tim responds, ‘Listen, listen. I never said I was good at these things.’[7] I don’t know who to score one to here.

But actually, Renner is a good-natured guest, prepared to share tales of explosive diarrhoea on Ellen and how he planned on taking his ‘momma’ to the Oscars. ‘There was no choice. She endured me flying out of her uterus.’ He goes on to give make-up tips so he’s a pretty decent value talk show commodity too.

For promotion on I Am Number Four[8] Tim chats hilariously about the tall alien monsters, the Mogs. When called upon to describe them, he struggles, evidently not having paid that much attention: ‘Here’s what I recall. They were tall and fairly unattractive.’ He’s asked if they were on stilts. He has no idea but does remember: ‘By the way, those actors were pretty big already. … And you know what, they may have been unattractive to start with as well. … I was like, put a couple of lines on that guy …’ and the interviewer concludes the thought for him ‘He’s good to go, right?’

I can imagine that when Tim refers to ‘that Jeremy Renner’, he might mentally add an adjective between ‘that’ and the other actor’s name, as in ‘not that [expletive bleeped out] Jeremy Renner’. I know I would be tempted to.

Renner has kept in touch with his roots, perhaps something that Tim’s mother may  also appreciate about him. In 2010, Modesto Junior College presented him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. He also headlined at a benefit for a Modesto arts centre. Score another for Jeremy.

The Rennersance man also enjoys renovating and restoring dilapidated Hollywood properties. But he’s down to earth in other ways too, as demonstrated by his reaction to being encased in a bomb suit in brain-boiling heat for the aforementioned Hurt Locker:

I was like: ‘Get this thing off me!’ I wanted to punch people. You could not pay me enough money to do it again.

timohat

Tim in a cute hat and not much else.

Tim similarly got close to losing his rag in a scene from A Perfect Getaway, having been assured that a fall wouldn’t hurt him.

There’s that shot – it’s in the trailer, I think – when I jump off – looks like I’m jumping off a cliff with a knife. So I’m like rigged on this cable …  it’s like fifteen feet – they’ll stop you three feet before you hit the ground. Guess what happened? I just jumped fifteen feet and went and hit the ground.  … Holy crap! I hit … [We might have a commercial but this is a good story, I'm in it now] … I sat there and everybody comes running and I did like this and said ‘Just back the fuck up’ [sorry, we’ll edit that out] and I’m a tough guy …my eyes started to water. Oh my gosh. And then I was like, ‘You know what, I’m fine. Check the gate.’

Renner, known for the intensity he invests in his characters, can also be roused to rage when his privacy is invaded.

renner in scarf

Jeremy looking totally hetero and macho.

How about I go peek in your window, take what underwear you wore last night, whose husband you were fucking, and shove that in the megaphone throughout your neighborhood? How does that feel? It’s none of your goddamn business.[9]

And he turned on some joker in a bar one Christmas although it sounds like the guy had it coming, having open-mindedly called Jeremy ‘a fag’ because he was wearing a scarf.

Then he shoved my sister and I got behind him and I choked him out – put him to sleep. I’m not violent.

Anyway, these guys are at the peak of their powers and careers – I can’t wait to see what they are going to do next. Well, except I think I’ll give the action sequels a miss, Jeremy. I don’t suppose anyone is really keeping score. Except perhaps imothy’s mum.


[1] And how come blond is associated with angels? The media always describe any fair-haired missing child as a ‘blond, blue-eyed angel’. Like dark-haired, dark-eyed and dark-skinned kids can’t be angelic and somehow deserve to go missing.

[2] Okay, maybe that’s stretching the words made up out of Timbo’s name a tad too far.

[3] Not even the presence of Olyphant could induce me to watch Ian McShane swearing in a ridiculously over-the-top manner for an hour or so.

[4] He was a regular character in The Unusuals but I’m unable to comment on that, having never heard of it.

[5] I know one person who probably didn’t shed too many tears about that.

[6] Generally in a mug, I always wonder exactly what this beverage is – just coffee/tea or something with a kick?

[7] See interview here.

[8] How in this world does someone of Tim’s attractiveness and talents wind up playing second fiddle to slab-faced Alex Pettyfer?

[9] You know what? I think I’ll avoid delving into Jeremy’s personal life as I’m already facing a libel suit from another blog subject. It sounds like Jez might just have this badger put down.

‘I can’t believe it’s happening’: but a Kinks reunion is ‘as close as it’s ever been’, according to all sources and indeed both horses’ mouths

RAY&DAVE

‘And always by your brother’s side’: Mick says they’ll have to knock their heads together.

A Kinks reunion is ‘as close as it’s ever been to happening’. That’s from the mouth of Ray Davies in a recent interview. Maybe I was unduly pessimistic about the prospects in my last blog post on the subject. Perhaps 2014 is the year it could come to pass, with everyone prepared to patch up their differences for the fiftieth anniversary of their breakthrough in 1964.[1]

For it looks like the rumour mill has ratcheted up another notch and all parties sound increasingly positive about the possibility of reuniting.

Of course the main bugbear threatening the enticing proposition is the rather intense version of sibling rivalry between brothers Ray and Dave Davies, which at times seems to border on the homicidal. Ray is rumoured to have once stabbed his younger brother in the chest with a fork for stealing one of his chips in a restaurant, after all.[2]

Ray in a documentary avowed that he would do anything to help Dave but would never let him know that fact in case he took advantage. The German Boy by Patricia Wastvedt explores a similarly conflictual sibling relationship between sisters Elizabeth and Karen: ‘She [Elizabeth] would fight anyone to save Karen from being hurt and in the same moment could want to punch her.’[3]

rayincar

‘So take a drive with me’: will Ray be behind the wheel?

And Dave knows that Ray loves him and believes his brother to be a compassionate soul, whose compassion simply doesn’t extend to him. While I can imagine Dave’s more impulsive responses and wilder behaviours, together with his tendency to attack his brother in interview, are a source of constant infuriation for Ray. In a quote from the same book:

They have never said they love each other in all their lives, and what they are to each other is so embedded that Elizabeth can’t feel it, any more than she can feel her own bones and blood. … The edginess between them tips one way into closeness and the other into fury.

First Kinks bassist Pete Quaife, who sadly succumbed to kidney failure in 2010, offers some insights into the potential difficulties in a 1998 interview.[4] When asked if Ray encouraged original material from him or Dave, he retorts:

Are you kidding? I would have been squashed with a size 16 boot if I had have even suggested they listen to a new idea from me! Ray wanted complete control of everything. He was a control freak. As for Dave, well, I think Ray felt obligated to listen to his ideas a little more because he was blood. But Ray sure as hell didn’t encourage it from Dave either.

unsuredave

‘Hold my hand, it’s gonna be all right’: Dave may need some assurances.

And he believed Dave was unnecessarily insecure about his songwriting capabilities, especially compared to Ray. He didn’t need to emulate his brother – they would always have completely divergent approaches to their craft, Dave’s being more instinctual and natural. Pete’s of the opinion that Dave ‘felt he would never be as good a musician as Ray was. That’s funny, considering he was always a much better guitar player than Ray.’[5]

Pete often acted as a peacekeeper, trying to calm things down before fists started to fly, whether between Ray and Dave or between the latter and drummer Mick Avory. And, asked what he would change if they could do it all over, he wishes, ‘That we’d put all the altercations and abuse out the window’.

But the competition, friction and tension could also be in part what fuelled the creative energy of the band. The Kinks could never be bland and complacent because, at war with each other, they were also constantly fighting for their place in the music industry.

As Ray says at the beginning of this exhilarating performance of ‘I’m Not like Everybody Else’, memorably featured in a Sopranos episode:

I like this song very much. It kind of sums up everything that we’re about, The Kinks. Because everybody’s expecting us to do wonderful things and we mess it all up usually.[6]

Live versions of Kinks songs like this were often totally different animals from the studio tracks, mainly thanks to Dave’s virtuosity on his instrument. As Ray concedes,

There are certain bands that can thrash out chords but no one has that edge that Dave has. It’s totally self-taught and it’s brilliant.

The sheer indifference of a British music press who obviously considered the band redundant is confronted with good humour by Ray in ‘The Road’ in the couplet

 And still all the critics keep saying
’Are they still around? When they gonna stop?’

It’s true in many ways – it’s a wonder they lasted as long as they did, what with the infighting and the battle to survive and stay relevant, right up to 1996 in some form or another. Ray explains this longevity, insisting that he’s most at home within the confines of a group:

If I was left to my own devices … I think I would have really truly disappeared up part of my anatomy because I do think too much … I miss being in a band. I was in a band for so long, years and years, decades.

oldband

‘All of my friends were there’: Dave holds onto Pete and Ray leans on Mick in the original quartet.

Dave is currently playing regular gigs in the US with The Jigsaw Seen. But there’s evidently communication between the brothers about the potential for a reunion. Even Mick, who Dave at first didn’t want to be included, is now being called upon to comment,[7] so let’s hope the younger Davies has reconsidered his initial moratorium on the faithful sticksman.

Dave has said, ‘It’d be a great shame if we don’t try and do something.’ But what was the one thing that had to happen before the spiritually inclined sibling would consider a reunion? The thing that he couldn’t do, that someone else had to, presumably Ray, the thing that’s referred to at the end of the Do It Again film. Now film-maker Geoff Edgers knows what it is; Dave knows what it is; but does Ray know what it is? And does anyone else have the faintest idea? Very intriguing. Has it happened now? Or doesn’t it matter any more?

I reckon the success of this venture will largely depend on Ray relinquishing control and recognising Dave’s right to be a partner in all decisions. The balance of power has shifted somewhat and both guys are equally vital to the project. It will also require wholehearted commitment from all parties. As Dave says in Jon Savage’s official biography of the band, ‘I don’t really function at my best unless I can put my whole heart and soul into what I’m doing.’

I’d like to think they could be reconciled enough for something great to come out of negotiations, that they could be as mature and enlightened as the characters in the bittersweet ‘The Informer’:

Isn’t it strange meeting you here
Two old friends
Just sitting down quietly drinking a beer
But knowing your past the way that I do
After all this time I’m surprised
You’d even come to this rendezvous

And that their rendezvous results in something amazing for all The Kinks fans who’ve kept the faith for so many years.


[1] Their first two singles that year, ‘Long Tall Sally’ and ‘You Still Want Me’, were followed by ‘You Really Got Me’, which hit number one. And let’s remember what Dave said about that first smash: ‘It’s not about wining and dining or middle class behaviour; it’s about ”I like you, I want to fuck you.” ’

[2] There could have been  extenuating circumstances here, of course. Like how good were the chips and how many did Ray have left?

[3] I’m sure many of us feel this way about our siblings much of the time.

[4] Full interview available at http://www.kindakinks.net/misc/quaife/.

[5] But Pete was always a Dave supporter, remembering that ‘Working with Dave was always a pleasure. He never tried to do it all himself, he always asked for advice from all of us.’

[6] And this amazing song was originally a B side. This version, with its electrifying guitar,  is on the live To the Bone album recorded at Konk.

[7] ‘We’d have to knock our heads together and rehearse if we meant to do it properly.’

Lyrics from kindakinks.

‘In a time when it’s all so confusing / We can win and it feels like losing’: but I doubt whether Timothy Schmit ever feels like losing

timeaglesonline

‘It’s amazing how it all worked out/I am living like a king’: Tim only sees bright sides.

It’s hard to believe some people find Timothy B. Schmit’s ‘rambling’ at his solo gigs annoying. I read a pretty negative review of one of his live shows on the Poconut[1] forum website but can’t find it again now.

If you want to hear someone really ramble, go see Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey Buckingham should by rights be togged up in a gilet and walking boots, with his trousers tucked securely into some sensible socks and a laminated map nestled next to the pac-a-mac in his pocket.

fleetwood

‘Thinking on the days of old’: Lindsey Buckingham just can’t say goodbye graciously.

Lindsey has a tendency to deliver self-aggrandising mini-lectures between numbers, which only really serve to prove that he has not let anything go or matured significantly over the years. Stevie Nicks was only once guilty of an overlong song introduction but at least it had a point. Other than to prove that she’d been right along, which was the gist of all of her bandmate’s diatribes. Honestly, why is he trying to justify Tusk now? As Don Henley might advise: ‘Get over it.’

But you put up with it for the music. They tell their stories better in song and, apart from the odd self-indulgence, the shows are amazing.

Some folks’ onstage patter almost rivals their musical ability. The late and so much more than great Jackie Leven was a supreme storyteller of often hilarious anecdotes. About a visit to a chip shop with no food in Bethesda, Wales. Or people at gigs in the Midlands able to dispense helpful advice on furthering his career, such as

Why don’t you get on Jools Holland’s programme? They have all sorts of crap on there. You should be able to get on there.[2]

jackie

‘You might love me for what I’ve sung’: always and forever, Jackie.

Or

Why don’t you make a single with Shania Twain? Some of your stuff’s just like hers.[3]

Jackie was truly one of a kind. He could as easily have been a comedian as a singer-songwriter. I guess it calls for the same observational skills to some degree but the Scotsman was uncannily adept at gleaning the most humour and absurdity from his everyday experiences.

Now back to that Schmit fellow. Here he is introducing a Poco song called ‘What Am I Gonna Do’ at a solo concert in Sacramento in 2009. I find his talking voice so listenable and appealing that I have to admit some bias. But I reckon this is a charming set-up of just the right length. He paints a picture of the past in a few simple words, leading you into the song smoothly, but with a better idea of its age, history and significance.

This next song was written by my good friend and mentor Richie Furay … Richie came, for those of you who don’t know, came from the Buffalo Springfield and then he got me into the band that was to be Poco

[I learnt] a lot about singing, about the whole scene. I first went on the road, went to New York City for the first time, with Richie and the band.

This song was originally written for the From the Inside album, in the early 70s, and he wanted me to sing it. But we went on the road before we recorded it and he, during that period of time, he actually, he was prophetic, because he actually started living the scenario of this song and I had reluctantly said you gotta sing this on the album. And he agreed.

And I was pretty sad in some ways. I really wanted to do it. So. Now I can do it.

I like the album version but this may be even better. And he tells jokes. What’s not to like?

Described by Glenn Frey as ‘a total sweetheart’, on Twitter TBS is relentlessly upbeat and positive, downplaying his throat cancer as a ‘setback’. Everything is ‘fun’, ‘all is good’, ‘well’. He’s ‘excited’ and ‘busy’, rather than terrified and exhausted.

He says of the cancer:

Although my issues were disheartening, and I went through what the doctors called, ‘major surgery’, the truth is I was only bedridden during my three night stay in the hospital. I was up and about right after, starting with daily walks on the streets of Manhattan. After another week I received a clean bill of health and headed for home on the west coast. My voice is coming along nicely … So … All is good.

timandothersmoody

‘A dream of how good it all can be’: Tim thought it ‘a great fit for everybody’.

Much as he’s presented in Jason Hare’s hilariously realised scenario in Mellow Gold Theatre, Timothy’s a look on the bright side person. After all, as he confesses in ‘Secular Praise,

I don’t know
Why some have less and some have more
All my sorrow could all fit in a bedroom drawer.

Mellow Gold envisions Don (‘Mr Don Henley’ as he insists on being addressed) as laconic, gruff, materialistic, demanding and cosseted, attended by a bevy of naked Korean girls. Glenn appears as an overgrown schoolyard bully delighted to be confronted with his favourite prey, the perfect victim and Tim suffers his assaults with a nervous mixture of terror and delight, dubbing Glenn ‘playful’ as he’s tackled to the floor. Joe Walsh is unconscious somewhere under the sofa.

Don, referring to the inflated price of Eagles tickets, points out that fans at a gig oughta stay in their seats the whole time because ‘Every time you turn your head away from the stage, you’ve wasted approximately 27 dollars.’

He reminds the blithely optimistic Tim of the torture involved in making the last album:

How Azoff had to ply us with $100 bills in a trail from our houses to the studio?’ to which Tim responds, ‘I didn’t get any $100 bills. He just had his assistant call me and say, “Be there at 8 AM.” And you guys didn’t show up until 2.[4]

The spoof is of course a comic visualisation of how such a scene could play out, exaggerated greatly for maximum humorous effect but it wouldn’t work if we couldn’t all imagine Timothy behaving somewhat similarly to this and hear him uttering those lines in his instantly recognisable dulcet tones. And it does fit in with what we know of his personality.

tim with poco

‘I don’t know why fortune smiles on some/And lets the rest go free’: Poco never achieved the massive mainstream success they deserved while the Eagles went stratospheric.

I don’t think Tim would sell himself short, however. He knows his value to the band. When he was invited to join them with no need for any kind of audition, he recollects:

I thought it was a great fit for everybody. I had no hesitation about that. It was perfect for me, obviously, and I was thrilled. I was actually getting a little disenchanted with the whole Poco thing around that time. I thought: This is so great for me, and I thought: It’s a good fit for them, too. And then “they” became “we”.

Main picture from Eagles fan forum, the Border.

Here’s a blog post comparing the Eagles and Poco.


[1] That is such a cool fan name, Poconut. See the forum here.

[2] I have to agree that a lot of the stuff on Later with …  is rubbish. But perhaps that wasn’t the best way to sell the recommendation.

[3] It’s really not.

‘A little less conversation, a little more action please …’: country music star Christian Kane rocks out at the Jazz Cafe in Camden

ck

‘Aint you been listening?’: there’s an 11 pm curfew and then I’m outta here.

If he’d spent less time exclaiming about the alleged 11 pm curfew, Christian Kane might have had time to sing a few more songs for the loyal army of fans who turned out to see him in Camden in November.

Might also have helped if he’d come on stage a tad earlier in the evening than 10. I’m just saying …

Why exactly did we need three warm-up acts? Even though the first was on stage by 8.15 or so, by the time the main attraction hit the stage, the crowd weren’t just warmed up; most of them were totally hammered. And some, I have to say, a bit scary and aggressive.

I happened to read my horoscope in the free paper on the train on the way up. It had counselled against confrontations and involving myself in battles I couldn’t win so I refrained from sticking up for myself when the going got tough. This restraint meant I had to put up with being elbowed in the throat by someone who felt the need to constantly fluff up her hair (she did have nice hair, I have to say) and then toss it a few times (each time nearly knocking out my contact lenses), to make sure the fluffing up had worked before refluffing just in case it hadn’t. All this she accomplished while back and forth to the bar for more drinks and participating in a conversation consisting mostly of asterisking expletives with her gang of friends. I’m forever taking evasive action while not daring to look at her any way that might be interpreted as wrong as I can just see myself headbutted, floored and trampled underfoot.

stewart mac

‘Well I know they say all goods things/Must come to some kinda ending’: Mac may have played more songs than headliner Kane.

The Jazz Cafe is packed out and it’s pretty hard to find a spot where you can even glimpse the stage if you happen to be on the diminutive side and not anxious to start a commotion. In our previous place we’d been continually buffeted by folk trying to get past but maybe that was the lesser of two evils.

The crowd is super-excitable and ultra-responsive. This I expected – Kane fans are not called Kaniacs for nothing. But they detain the third support, Stewart Mac (with Dean Roberts), for an encore. He’s not bad and I enjoyed hearing more but I’m painfully aware that, the more we see of him, the less we’re going to see of Christian.[1] Do the math, guys.

But another good thing about the Kaniacs is that they’ve just about captured the whole concert for posterity. They considerately want to share their experience with fans who couldn’t be there. A little less considerately, you might be able to hear more of them than Christian on the resultant clips.

When CK finally takes the stage, curls of long hair escaping from under a grey-brown hat, sporting a shirt that looked kind of indigo in the stage lights over a lighter-coloured long-sleeved T, sleeves of both rolled up, blue jeans with trainers and a big macho leather wristlet plus some kind of medallion round his neck, no one can deny he’s a sight for sore eyes. And his late arrival has successfully built anticipation to a fever pitch.

He seems like a genuine, genial guy but the country rocker spent an inordinate amount of time chatting, goofing around with and hugging buddy and guitarist Hank (Henri O’Connor), thanking the venue for having him, saying what a great venue it was, thanking us for coming out, telling us how he much he likes being in London, failing to retune his guitar, losing his pick and fucking up the beginnings of verses and suchlike (fine, funny, adorable if you’ve all the time in the world which, as he kept reiterating, we didn’t).

JazzCafe

‘And you need a place you can let it go’: the Jazz Cafe.

In fact he reminds us of the time constraint every few minutes, declaring, a little less than sincerely, I suspect, his willingness to play all night if it weren’t for the curfew. I’m getting a little incensed by the procrastination and the protests too much, if you know what I mean. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s more of a self-imposed deadline than anything set in concrete. And, in fact the single encore included, he stops at 10.55, so depriving us of a possible further five minutes.

Some of these fans appear so devoted that they just might whoop, cheer and applaud if Christian decided not to play any music at all. And the actor/musician seems to appreciate and acknowledge their dedication and maybe on this occasion take advantage of it a little.

Time gripes aside, what we did hear was awesome, from breezy opener ‘Happy Man’ to thoughtful, self-analytical encore ‘Dusty Rose’: ‘A little dirty, a little rough around the edges …  And no tellin’ how many times/You cut your hands holdin’ me’.

He was in fine voice and high spirits and more than ably accompanied by O’Connor, with whom he enjoys an obvious onstage chemistry. In the YouTube clips the women singing or shouting along (in various versions of off key) sound like they are practically drowning the singer out but this isn’t that apparent on the night, thankfully. I realise this must be gratifying to an artist and is indeed encouraged (‘If you know it, please sing along’) but, let’s be real, audience participation is all fine and dandy but we’re not really shelling out to hear somebody next to us bellow out their renditions of our favourites.  His voice is ever so slightly better than theirs, after all.[2]

We were promised a couple of new songs, one of which, ‘Sever’, was delivered. Co-written with Hank (‘This is a song that me and him wrote’), it made quite an impression – one of those moody laments chronicling a foundering relationship (‘Don’t ya know the sky aint fallin’, don’t ya/Don’t ya know if it was I’d catch it for ya?/Don’t ya know if I was gonna leave, by now I would have done so long ago’). Covers included ‘The One I Love’ (‘Somebody else [David Gray] wrote this but it’s one of my favourite songs in the world’) and ‘Jolene’. Enjoyed terrific versions of ‘Thinking of You’ and ‘Let Me Go’[3] as well as crowd-pleasing roustabouts ‘Whiskey in Mind’ (during which Christian admits ‘By the way, I fucked up, he didn’t fuck up’ of Hank, who’d only just learnt the song) and ‘The House Rules’. But we kind of lost the momentum of ‘Different Kind of Knight’ when they kept dicking around before the last verse. Yeah, it was sort of charming that he doesn’t take himself too seriously but, once again, made me acutely conscious that time wasted was time off the performance.

KaneLive

‘Sit on the floor/And lock the door/Dancin’ with a bottle’: ‘Track 29′ from the live CD.

It’s an indication of the extent of his back catalogue that he didn’t play a single track featured on the Live in London acoustic CD from 2004 that we bought at the gig, any of which I would also love to have heard.

I know you’re meant to leave your audience wanting more. But the fine-looking blue-eyed sex kitten just didn’t give us quite enough – a mere ten songs – and I thought he was bound to play ‘Rattlesnake Smile’. He only played one encore but he’d drilled the so-called deadline into everybody’s heads so much that I think most of the audience had resigned themselves to the inevitable and considered their time well and truly up.


[1] At the Grant Hart gig in The Miller the week before, a number of  support acts similarly delayed the advent of the headliner till about 10. He played nearly 20 songs nevertheless and continued till at least 11.30.

[2] I can imagine Kane would call me a ‘motherfucker’ for daring to criticise the singalongers. He abused a punter who pleaded for quiet at one point, responding: ‘Shut the fuck up, man! Absolutely don’t be fucking quiet!’ I don’t think he appreciates the exquisite agony of having someone tone deaf screaming in your ear all the way through a concert. It’s not something I’d recommend anyone try, especially when you’re desperate to hear someone perform live. But I think he truly revels and thrives in the interactive atmosphere of his gigs.

[3] During which the whooping between verses gets a little out of control, breaking up the song and a little voice from the crowd says ‘Sorry’ to which the singer replies reassuringly, ‘Don’t apologise at all for that -  that’s awesome.’ I get it – instant feedback is good.

‘Where did your long hair go?’: thankfully not something we need ever wistfully wonder when we look at Timothy B. Schmit

tritt2

‘A white boy from Sacramento’: Timothy B. Schmit with Travis Tritt and assorted Eagles.

What tickles me about the video for Travis Tritt’s rendition of ‘Take It Easy’, apart from the fact that it’s not a patch on the original version, is that the usually verging on the girlish Timothy B. Schmit looks the most macho in it.

The rest of them resemble a passel of maiden aunts next to Tim, with his cool facial hair, who narrows his eyes in a boy you wouldn’t take home to mom way and even manages a particularly manly shake of the mane at one point.[1] I’ve always been a sucker for a sexy hair toss and it has to be said that no one has hair more fitted to the task.

He strides forth like a gunslinger swaggering out of a saloon whereas the others amble along like a bunch of old buddies thinking about going fishing.

We know from The History of the Eagles documentary film that at this point, finding himself back with the boys and everything going swimmingly, Timothy B. was thinking to himself, ‘Come on, guys!’ in an endearingly plaintive way, wondering how they couldn’t recognise how right it was to be playing together again.

Having graduated from the freebie t-shirts and dungarees of his unpretentious youth in Poco and early Eagles days, Timothy’s sartorial style as a mature artist had betrayed a penchant for teaming polychromatic shirts of a Hawaiian bent with contrasting jazzy waistcoats in colour clashes of epic proportions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFbCOA0C-1c

But here he eschews all that flashy malarkey, keeps it simple and simply rocks. In a red flannel shirt, sleeves rolled up to reveal his forearms, over a black t-shirt and plentiful masculine wrist jewellery, TBS is the only one I’d bother lining up against a wall.[2] But I’d volunteer for that duty whatever the hell he was wearing.

This longhaired desperado looks just the type you might encounter playing pool in a bar in the middle of a weekday in somewhere like Winslow, Arizona. I’ve stood on that corner and had some kind of pickup pull to a halt for the driver to ask if I knew the way to the probation office. Ever feel like you’re in a film? Even if it is a trashy afternoon made-for-TV movie, the kind you give up on halfway through.

So I’m assuming Travis Tritt is younger than the Eagles (yeah, by about fifteen years) but here he looks like someone’s slightly pudgy uncle in a billowing blouson trying to act a bit tougher than he is and fit in with the old hands.

This song was recorded for a 1993 thirteen-track tribute album, celebrating the band’s music,[3] with a portion of the profits going to the Walden Woods Project, founded by Don Henley in 1990.

For his interpretation of the Eagles classic, Tritt requested that the 1980 line-up of the country rock legends (Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Don Felder, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit) feature in the video. By some miracle engineered by the gods of music (possibly after a gentle nudge from Irving Azoff), they agreed. And the rest, as they say, is history.[4]

Photo half-inched fromhttp://www.timothybschmitonline.com/.

For first blog on Timothy and Eagles, see here.



[1] Thank whatever gods may be that, when we look at TBS, we don’t need to wonder wistfully, ‘Where did your long hair go?’, a lyric from ‘Caroline, No’, a Brian Wilson song covered by Tim.

[2] No, actually, I could definitely be persuaded to give Don Henley a thorough pat down too.

[3] The album hit the number one spot on the Country Billboard chart.

[4] But, if you don’t know, by the next year, hell done got froze over, the band reformed and toured. Amen to that. And thanks be to Travis Tritt.

‘There’s no way we can agree’: rumours of a Kinks reunion unravel

flaskera

‘Together we can find a way’: Kinks lineup featuring John Dalton, John Gosling and Mick Avory.

Why do the Davies brothers do this to Kinks fans?

Periodically, they raise our hopes, then stomp all over them in their vicious Cuban heels.

Ray and Dave Davies have reportedly been in talks about a possible reunion to mark The Kinks’ 50th anniversary. Hallelujah, we cry, but also cautiously elect not to hold our breath.

Just as they seem to be edging toward something like rapprochement, Dave will throw a spanner in the works and Ray will counter that with a wrench. And the 50/50 odds bandied about in the press start to look slimmer by the second.

For one minute Dave is behind the proposal, fanning its flames into a virtual bonfire of expectation, the next he’s pouring cold water all over it and stamping on the embers.

In a positive frame of mind, blossoming in a healthy new relationship with writer Rebecca Wilson, playing gigs on a quite regular basis on the US east coast, Dave reports of his meetings with Ray:

We talked about the old days and maybe doing something next year. I thought to myself, ‘Oh shit, maybe we could do something before we fall down dead.’

daved

‘Yet we’d heard it all before’: one minute Dave’s all ears, the next he doesn’t want to hear it.

This is the first time I’ve known Dave even lend the possibility the least consideration. It seemed to take Ray by surprise too.

But, guess what, things quickly soured when they had their last cup of tea before Dave’s return stateside. Describing his sibling as ‘negative, grumpy and just mean’, Dave interpreted Ray’s changed mood as disapproval of his trip, saying ‘I feel like he was miserable because I’m happy. He’s a really troubled man.’ And went on to recall times when Ray was ‘fucking horrible’ to him in the past. Maybe so but now’s not the time to dredge all that up again.

Many of us believed that Dave’s new relationship would rejuvenate him and rebuild his confidence, along with the American tour. But his sensitivity to Ray’s (real or imagined) criticism sets him immediately back on the defensive.

The younger Davies also underlines the fact that he doesn’t want any other ex-Kinks to be involved. Why not?

Of original drummer Mick Avory, he states bluntly, ‘I hope we don’t bring him back’ before going on to claim:

I love him, but it’s water under the bridge. [1] We need new people. Sometimes when you’re with the same old people, you get the same old thing.

Um, it’s not a reunion if it’s just Ray and Dave and a bunch of other guys.[2] There are plenty of other ex-Kinks out there, still playing the material. Mick is an original member, for goodness sake.

We not only have the much maligned Mick, but his replacement Bob Henrit, John Dalton, John Gosling, Ian Gibbons, Jim Rodford, all fine musicians with a great track record of involvement in The Kinks.

bernie

‘We’re all tryin’ to get along’: Bernie Leadon had finally had enough.

And surely, the point about a reunion is that you do get the old people back together and at least play some of the same old thing?

The Eagles have understood this, even drafting in original member Bernie Leadon for their latest ‘farewell’ tour, History of the Eagles. Bernie had made his early departure after pouring a beer over Glenn Frey’s head (probably long overdue if you ask me). Randy Meisner was invited too. Okay, Don Felder has yet to make a reappearance this time around. But he was included in the 1994 Hell Freezes Over tour.

The Davies brothers would also look to be at odds regarding new material. Ray is insisting that any reunion should involve new music: ‘As long as there’s something new to go forward with rather than stay in the past, I’m interested.’ But on the subject of making an album together, Dave demurs: ‘I can’t face the concept of days and days in the studio with Ray. I just can’t do it.’ Surely some compromise can be reached?

Ray has taken a gracious path and declined to retaliate, saying Dave’s

a great player. Whenever I write a song, I think of how it could be improved by having him on it, and what his power chords would bring to it. [...] I don’t know what next year will bring. Let’s see if he’s polite to me the next time we meet.

Mmm, maybe it would take more than hell freezing over to reunite this amazing band. The brothers are so diametrically opposed to each other that it’s like they’re in different planetary orbits.

mick and ray

‘You’re a lot like me, that’s why I’m still your friend’: friendship that lasted the course.

A year or so back, any kind of reunion appeared to be out of the question, a remote possibility, a distant dream, with Dave dismissing it out of hand while Ray has always been more open to the idea, once admitting:

I’m still ­waiting hopefully for the phone call to go back on the road and tour with The Kinks. I tour now, I’ve got a good band who I’ve been with for a few years. But I still carry The Kinks in my mind and Mick Avory is a very good friend of mine. I never say never because suddenly these things will happen.

Sadly, before original bassist Pete Quaife died, The Kinks had been planning to record together again. He’d said:

Ray, Dave, Mick and I are going into Konk Studios this fall. We’re doing a CD of new material. Just the four of us. Just like old times. There’ll be a fight. I can almost guarantee it.

I think the lyrics of the song ‘Hatred’ probably reflect the real current situation as much as any press report.

You and me accept reality
There’s no way we can agree
The world can’t make us alter this position
At least you and I know where we stand
We can’t be friends, walk hand in hand
My hostility for you defies description

Hate’s the only thing we have in common
There’s no escape, we’ll always be this way
So we might as well just learn to live together
‘Cause we’re gonna be this way till our dying day

If you keep on putting me down
Rub my name into the ground
I’ll drag the dirt all over town about you

The reunion didn’t come up at the Purcell Room on the South Bank, where we witnessed Ray in rather awkward conversation with John Wilson, pretty close to Waterloo Bridge and not that long after sunset. Maybe Ray wasn’t that comfortable because on the wrong side of the river but I have the feeling the whole promotional aspect of the situation rendered him a bit sheepish.

Publicising Americana, his latest book, which delves into his relationship with the US and its denizens, necessitates events like this and book signings galore (the queue afterwards was pretty lengthy but very ordered and patient) but I wouldn’t think it’s Ray’s favourite activity.

I attended this rather than a normal book signing because I hoped to hear the promised excerpts from the text. But we only got one, an extremely short one at that, so I was left unresolved as to whether to buy a copy or not.[3]

you really shot me

‘Don’t wanna get myself shot down’: Ray ended up getting shot down as a 21st century man.

Along with an interview, we were also treated to a homemade video of some of Ray’s US travels as a solo performer, starting with a 2000 tour beset with transport problems after September 11th and covering his time in New Orleans before and after being shot.[4]

He also touched on the band’s six-year ban from the US, quoting Mick Avory’s pithy rationalisation as to its probable causes , ‘a combination of bad management, bad luck and bad behaviour’.

Ray also responded to some questions from the spectators, who were invited to scribble these out in advance for submission.

Returning to the question of a reunion, though, I guess I can forgive Dave his misgivings. Whereas Ray has maintained friendly relations with his old bandmates, Dave has been somewhat isolated and estranged. No doubt he expects that, if disagreements arise, the others’ loyalty will lie with Ray, which has led to friction in the past.

Testing the barometer of other fans in attendance, it would seem that few hold out any hope that The Kinks will ever reform.

But let’s leave the last words to Dave:

I really do want to do something with Ray before we both decay and decompose. I said to Ray last week, ‘We don’t have much time left.’

Some quotes from Rolling Stone, NME, Uncut and the Daily Star.

For all things Kink on bashful blog so far see http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/everything-kink-on-bashful-blogs/.


[1] ‘Water under the bridge’ generally equates to letting bygones be bygones.

[2] Though both have been playing regularly with the accomplished backing of other bands like The Jigsaw Seen , Bill Shanley and The 88.

[3] It was on sale for the jacket price of £18.99. It was £15.19 with free delivery from the Waterstones site, £12.72 on Amazon. The cheapskate in me won out and I didn’t make the purchase.

[4] Dave is currently soliciting crowd funding for a similar film project, The Rock’n’Roll Journey, documenting his own experiences on the road. For details see http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dave-davies-rock-n-roll-journey-film.

‘It starts when you think it’s the end’: Timothy B. and the Eagles

He’s in a bar and out of itpoco3

Eyes nowhere near home

Turned out the music wasn’t quite enough

When it came right down to it

Without a little something

To help everything along

To keep on night after night

Became so much harder

Without some kind of hit

b&wguitarHow they picked him up

Swept him off his feet

Let him finally feel

Everything would be all right

No use pretending to be coy

When he can’t conceal his joy

So he just opened his arms way out wide

‘Sometimes you just gotta let it ride’

An eternal waiftimothybeach

In dungarees

Hair so long and free

A giveaway t-shirt

And tight blue jeans

Natural right down

To his split ends

And hopefully expectant smile

They gathered him in like

The harvest of their lives

timdungareeseagles

Sometimes he looks down at

His guitar with such sweet

Self-satisfaction that it

Simply warms your heart

His submission disarms them

Like a rainbow in a storm

He’d been so disenchanted

When this shot came his way

It’s like a dance he’s always known

He’d get the chance to dance one day

It was a trip like no other

Furious, frenzied and far too fastwith another

For anyone to believe it could ever last

It was so much of all he ever wanted

That it almost made him sick

Fated to crumble into bits

Just as he was getting used to it

He hits the ground hard

Lies still as a stone

They hit the ground running

Before he knows it they’re gone

For poems and imaginary scenarios on Timothy and Eagles, see http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/bad-timing-with-the-eagles/ and http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/timothy-b-schmit-and-the-eagles/.  For a blog on Poco and Timothy B., see http://sshh-sshh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/some-called-it-country-some-called-it.html.

‘Visions of things that used to be’: everything Kink on bashful so far

limpwrist

‘And I remember myself in my tie dye sweater’: but conveniently forgot the crocheted tank tops.

Here’s a digest of all bashful posts on Kinks topics as I’ve realised it’s pretty hard to navigate around the site for some reason. So, for instance, the Dave Davies satsang posts are listed under the relevant heading below, in chronological order so that they hopefully make a little more sense. Likewise the speculation about the relationship between the Davies brothers …

General Kinks stuff

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/looking-up-the-kinks/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/the-kinks-yo-yo-1982/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/the-legacy-of-kinks-legend-pete-quaife-rocks-on-in-muswell-hill/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/kinks-brothers-hair-tour-and-book/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/how-we-deciphered-song-lyrics-before-the-internet/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/kinky-art-at-konk/

Kinks reunion

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/rumours-of-a-kinks-reunion-to-mark-50th-anniversary/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/can-a-kinks-reunion-really-happen/

Kinks film and casting

daveguitar77

‘While Dave the Rave hit the rock’n’roll riffs’: Dave’s currently playing gigs in the US.

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/desperately-seeking-dave-davies-2/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/everybodys-in-movies/

Kinks London tours

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/walking-in-the-footsteps-of-the-kinks/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/on-the-trail-of-the-kinks-one-sunny-afternoon-in-london-town/

Dave Davies satsang weekends

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/a-weekend-with-dave-davies-of-the-kinks/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/more-on-my-weird-and-wonderful-weekend-with-dave-davies-of-the-kinks/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/coda-to-dave-davies-satsang-weekend/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/soaking-up-spiritual-refreshment-at-the-home-of-the-kinks-dave-davies/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/destination-undisclosed-a-close-encounter-with-dave-davies/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/to-boldly-go-a-return-to-the-realm-of-renegade-kink-dave-davies/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/ex-kinks-dave-daviess-secret-shangri-la-2/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/truly-truly-trust-your-heart-further-arcadian-adventures-in-kinkdom-with-dave-davies/

innocentray

‘You were the best friend I ever knew’: Mick and Ray are still mates.

Relationships Dave/Ray/Mick

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/its-family-innit-ray-and-dave-davies-kinks-1/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/its-family-innit-ray-and-dave-davies-of-the-kinks-2/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/its-family-innit-ray-davies-and-dave-davies-3/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/the-uncertain-smile/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/that-special-kinks-relationship-between-ray-davies-and-mick-avory-and-the-rather-less-special-one-between-mick-and-dave-davies-episode-one/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/episode-two-on-the-love-hate-triangle-between-ray-davies-mick-avory-and-dave-davies-of-the-kinks/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/the-threads-unwind-between-the-kinks/

Dave’s new girlfriend

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/dave-davies-of-the-kinks-hits-town-with-new-girl/

Ray solo shows

rayhmm

‘I hated my textbooks and my school uniform’: well, the trousers at any rate.

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/am-i-ready-for-ray-davies-like-a-fool-i-went-and-said-ok/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/ray-davies-on-the-road-theres-gas-in-his-tank-and-hes-still-got-a-way-to-go/

Incidental mentions of Kinks

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/smart-casual-words-that-will-always-strike-fear-into-my-heart/

http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/postmortem-on-the-olympics-fiasco-triumph-or-a-bit-of-both/

P.S. Ray is doing the rounds promoting his new book Americana, so catch him at a bookshop near you in October.

‘Armed with nothing but a song’: Timothy B. Schmit leaves Poco for the Eagles in 1977 and they break up in 1980 – he can’t tell you why

Bass Guitarist Schmidt of Poco

‘I wake up and find you’re really not there’: the wallflower awaiting plucking, a bloom soon to be scattered to the wind.

Timothy, the prettiest and most retiring wallflower at the dance, is overjoyed when the handsome tough boys finally recognise his desirability and reward his patience by snapping their fingers for him to join them.

He jumps up with a shy delighted smile and demurely stretches out his hand, inwardly bracing himself for a wild and thrilling ride. Only to be bewildered and disconcerted when all of a sudden the music stops, the lights come on and the party’s over. Somehow he has been cheated of his moment of glory.

He’s been whirled dizzyingly round the floor once in a delirious haze under the magical flickering light patterns cast by the mirror ball, then abruptly relinquished – to reel, flounder and fall in fluorescent relief.

His head is still spinning. Everything was so vivid and so real. It felt like he was finally in a blissful state of abandon he could call home. Like he was where he’d always known he belonged. The boys’ grip was so firm and proprietary, yanking him around and showing him off like their latest flame, before they so unceremoniously let him go. He turns in a quandary of despair to see them swagger out the door.

They’d whisked him away like a tornado through a Kansas cornfield, before redepositing him in the windswept farmyard in just the same cavalier fashion. Exhilarated and breathless, this brusque relegation to his humdrum existence leaves him as disenchanted as the Pevensey children catapulted back from a glorious and action-packed sojourn in Narnia to the stark reality of wartime air raids in the Blitz. And with a fourteen-year yearning for a similarly invigorating sequel.

Unexpectedly at the end of his tether and disappointed down to his soul, he breathes out a soft yet undeniably exasperated sigh, drops his head, glances away. Picks himself up from the sticky parquet and dusts off his best dungarees.[1]

‘We make it harder than it has to be’: No one can rock big headphones like TBS.

Last blog on Timothy at http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/timothy-b-schmit-and-the-eagles/. 

With a second part at http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/timothy-b-schmit-and-the-eagles-part-2/.

Also check out http://sshh-sshh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/schmitten-part-one-flow-of-energy-was.html and http://sshh-sshh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/schmitten-part-two-sweet-talking-guy_25.html.


[1] His dream, ‘his super dream’, as he calls it in interview, is dashed almost at the point of its realisation. When he’s told that it’s over, he confesses, ‘I didn’t wanna hear it.’ No wonder that, once informed that a reunion may be on the cards, he tried to be cautious, confiding, that, though excited, ‘I didn’t want to get too excited.’ Once bitten. Luckily, the second time around has lasted a lot longer.

‘And we danced all night to the best song ever’: Niall Horan of One Direction vows to frolic naked in the aisles at an Eagles show

niallandeagles

‘The new kid in town’: Eagles Timothy B. Schmit and Don Henley flank 1D’s Niall Horan.

Maybe the Eagles (touring the US at the moment) will reach a preteen audience desperate to see Niall Horan of 1D in the buff, the young heartthrob having pledged to dance naked in the front row at one of their gigs.[1]

Thrilled to meet his all-time musical heroes at the premiere of the film History of the Eagles,[2] he posed for a photo with Timothy B. Schmit and Don Henley, which he tweeted along with the declaration that in the event of a tour, ‘I‘ll be there starkers at the front!

Perhaps Niall has already fulfilled his promise, I don’t know. Maybe he hasn’t got along to a show yet or is waiting for a UK tour. Somehow I doubt whether it will ever come to pass.

The Eagles already appeal to all generations but this development can only extend the band’s legendary fanbase.

Perhaps the veteran country rockers had some words of advice for Niall about coping with the excesses of the rock’n’roll lifestyle, as they’re rumoured to have capitalised on all it had to offer and emerged whole the other end (if not always the best of friends), even Joe Walsh, possibly the worst offender when it came to overindulgence and unruly rockstar behaviour.[3]

Niall, reportedly Simon Cowell’s favourite member of the group (I suspect they share a similar taste in music, with the pop mogul’s known affection for ‘Desperado’, often prevailing on his mentees to essay renditions on The X Factor), has also sported an Eagles 75 shirt, as pictured everywhere recently.

One-Direction-2

‘Everyone else in the room can see it’: Harry Styles is determined to be the first to strip off while the other lads check out his butt.

I admire the fact that the nineteen-year-old star is proud to claim allegiance to a band originally formed in 1971, often tweeting their lyrics to fans.[4]

Suddenly I have a whole new respect for One Direction. Well, not really. But still. Who would have thought?

For more on Timothy B. see http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/timothy-b-schmit-and-the-eagles/.


[2] It is not known whether any of the Eagles repaid the compliment by attending the premiere of This Is Us, the newly released One Direction film.

[3] Joe even had a ‘mentor in chaos’, namely The Who’s drummer Keith Moon. If anyone ever had less need of such a mentor than Walsh, I can’t think of them.

[4] He is also a fan of Frank Sinatra and Bon Jovi.

‘I’m a bus, I’m a tourist cigar’: the evidently drug-induced line I heard Al Stewart sing in ‘The Year of the Cat’ – hey, it was the 70s, man

tdkBefore the internet – do you remember that world? – if you wanted to learn the lyric to a song you would just have to play it over and over again until you worked it out. Unless the artist in question had thoughtfully transcribed the words on a single or LP sleeve. Or it happened to feature in one of those few magazines that occasionally printed lyrics.

And then, you heard more variety on the radio in those days – you got oldies on all the stations as well as the latest material. You were just as likely to hear a classic song from before you were born as a contemporary hit. But in those days you needed good luck, judgement and perseverance if you were ever to understand all the words to your favourite song.

‘Let’s all get up and dance to a song/That was a hit before your mother was born’ – I’ve always loved this Beatles song.

Often it was a case of combining careful listening with an educated and informed guess. Except that an eleven-year-old girl’s guess at a thirty-five-year-old man’s lyric from some forgotten decade couldn’t really be that informed.

Audio cassettes were great (TDK C90s were a favourite)[1] for fathoming out lyrics – you would rewind and relisten to a line umpteen times sometimes before being able to decipher it. Of course you’d probably recorded it off the radio in the first place and were still trying to tune the station in at the start, then grimacing as you witnessed it waver in and out throughout the whole track. Anything you taped off Radio Caroline actually sounded like it was being played on a ship in a choppy North Sea, for instance.caroline

Everything in those days involved a certain investment of time and effort. Not to mention patience. Waiting for a version of a song without some inane DJ blathering on right up to the vocals. Then that might be perfect, only for them to cut it off halfway through the final chorus. Most of the time you couldn’t predict when a song would be played so chart shows on Sunday were a good chance if your favourite had made it into the top forty. Then you had to maintain a constant state of alertness. The track you missed on one station you might still be able to catch on another, cueing frequent rapid retuning and running up and downstairs in the middle of tea.

Lyric interpretations sometimes provoked debate. You’d argue the toss for your transcription over someone else’s. It was something to celebrate when you had a breakthrough. I found the whole process frustrating and rewarding in pretty much equal measure.

st louisBut those lyrics stayed in your head for decades. I have files of hastily scribbled words to songs, from Meet Me in St Louis’s ‘The Trolley Song’ to Grant Hart’s ‘The Main’.[2]

It’s not only Ian Rankin who has a propensity to hear the wrong words. His latest Rebus thriller was titled after a Jackie Leven song that he’d misheard, making it Standing in Another Man’s Grave rather than the song’s ‘Standing in Another Man’s Rain’. He was at least close. My own interpretations often bore only a passing resemblance to the actual words and sometimes made even less sense. Still, I became quite fond of some of them.

In Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’, I didn’t get ‘They follow each other on/The wind ya’ know’ but the rather more true to my life ‘They follow each other on/The whinge and moan.’

And in ‘Dirty Diana’ I kept hearing the chorus ‘Dirty Diana, Nah’ as, inexplicably, ‘I need an answer-phone’.

Go figure. Sometimes it had nothing to do with logic.

In ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac, I particularly liked my interpretation of ‘When the rain washes you clean you’ll know’ which was the even more Nicksian (in my opinion) ‘When the rainbow shares your dream, you’ll know’.

stevieBet she wishes she’d written that.

Another favourite hails from Al Stewart’s 70s classic ‘Year of the Cat’, in which I clearly discerned the evidently drug-induced ‘I’m a bus, I’m a tourist cigar’ and didn’t blink an eye at the fact that it made little narrative sense, man. [Actually the completely ordinary 'And the bus and the tourists are gone'.]

Whereas, in the line in the Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’, ‘Warm smell of colitas[3] rising up through the air’ I naively imagined ‘politas’ (as I heard it) as some fragrant flower native to the US west coast or some exotic home-cooked Mexican foodstuff yet to make it to my southeast London suburb.[4]

And then there’s that catchy line, now sounding as if it comes from one of the plethora of those tedious do-up-your-home shows that blight the modern-day TV landscape – ‘I’m not talking about the linen’.

If you can work out the actual lyric and the song, I’ll definitely take my hat off to you.

For The Church’s soul-stirring ‘Under the Milky Way’, I made out, no doubt inspired by the ‘If you’re tired of London …’ epigram, the poetic ‘Lower the curtain down on Memphis/Lower the curtain down on life’ rather than the far more prosaic and a little boring ‘Lower the curtain down in Memphis/Lower the curtain down all right’.

Here’s a version with lyrics on screen. And for those of you who don’t like to be spoonfed, here’s the link without http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q6nKP10j4s.

Since I became a Kinks fan in 2011, I started to work out my own lyrics to their numbers, despite the excellent resource of kindakinks.net, that carries words not only to Kinks songs but also to the brothers’ solo material. I don’t know, I just can’t help myself. My versions seem to be more X-rated than the original ones, based more on what I’d learnt about the band’s sexual shenanigans than what they actually sang.

So I came up with ‘Sometimes there was some sex on the sand’, ‘Fuck some bird’ and ‘I’m gonna shaft ’em all’.

Which are actually the much more PG ‘Sometimes there were sunsets on the sand’ (‘Animal’), ‘Luxembourg’ (‘Fortis Green’) and ‘I’m gonna shout for more’ (‘Lincoln County’).

More innocently and mysteriously, in ‘The Road’, I thought Ray remembered that he ‘Started playing blues in a cartwheel bar’, of which I’m sure there were dozens in Muswell Hill in the 60s.[5]

Ray Davies has surely penned some of the greatest lyrics ever written, so well observed, often humorous, self-deprecating or scathing. But he also does melancholic, vitriolic, neurotic. How about ‘So the nation built them a utopia/With pebbledash on the outside’ in ‘Million Pound Semi Detached’?[6]

And ‘He sits in the armchair, watching Channel 4/But his brain’s not expected home for an hour or more’ from ‘Yo-yo’?

‘Trojans and some of ‘em used’: I had no idea what that was about. Sheltered childhood.

Digressing on to best opening lines, one of the most arresting beginnings ever has got to be from Prince’s ‘Little Red Corvette’ – ‘I guess I shoulda known/By the way you parked your car sideways/That it wouldn’t last.’

That intrigues you and hooks you in, right?

Similarly, you want to hear the rest of the story once Jackie Leven of Doll by Doll sings ‘She lives in a steel comb world/Where sad men in leather will fight over girls’ in ‘Human Face’.

Or when the aforementioned Al Stewart croons so softly ‘On a morning from a Bogart movie/In a country where they turn back time’.

A country where they turn back time. What an amazing line.al stewart

I miss those days and those misheard words. Nowadays those sought after lyrics are available in seconds online. YouTube most probably carries a version of the song featuring onscreen lyrics so you can sing along. No effort. No problem. No fun.

More on lyrics in another blog – the most unlikely and most multisyllabic words, mentions of famous people, words that had to be changed for children’s TV shows, progressive and liberal values promoted by lyrics in the great musicals of the 40s-50s.

No apologies for the gratuitous Stevie Nicks picture because she’s just so gorgeous.


[1] If you don’t know what an audio cassette is, see http://everyrecordtellsastory.com/2013/08/21/cassettes-a-newbies-guide-for-cassette-store-day/ for a beginner’s guide. For more on archaic music equipment, see http://sshh-sshh.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/music-centre-nostalgia.html.

[2] ‘I was smack in the middle of alphabet town/There was life on the corners and death all around’.

[3] My version of Word interestingly keeps autocorrecting this to ‘colitis’, inflammatory bowel disease. It actually means marijuana, which you can now smell very strongly all over my suburban residential cul de sac.

[4] I seriously believed there could be no one deeper, cooler or more poetic than Don Henley when it came to lyrics. Come on, ‘Somebody laid the mountains low/While the town got high’.

[6] Let’s make Ray Poet Laureate. More on favourite Kinks lyrics in a later blog.

‘If you don’t believe I’m going/You can count the days I’m gone’: looks like you can take the man out of The Kinks …

This post has been withdrawn due to threatened legal proceedings for libel and copyright infringement from Dave Davies.

First time around for Timothy B. Schmit and those Eagles boys

First time around

There is something so unalloyedtimboat

About his capacity for joy,

Like he’s living his life

Way better than the rest of us.

Hopeful in his skinny youth

And smiles wide like Christmas morning,

He is so unadulterated

That it makes you quiver.

headphonesHe clings on to the rails

As the wind batters him breathless.

He’s finally where he feels

He should have been all along.

The smile never leaves his face

He wants to inhabit every second

And make this last the rest of his life.

While he’s determined to enjoy this trip,boataction

Sunbathing in jeans, bare-chested

But for a gold crucifix,

Or grinning into the camera,

Wrapped in a seafarer’s cable knit,

Behind his unsuspecting back,

Everyone else has already abandoned ship.

dungarees

The picture of 70s innocence

Distilled in Timothy,

In headphones and white dungarees.

A wide-eyed doe-like wonder

That he’s even really here.

You want to brush that long dark hair

And freeze him there so free from care.

And this spirit, his blithe trustfor lyn

In the sanctity of his happiness

So soon betrayed, ashes, dust –

You catch it through the PC screen

Through forty years of time between.

You still feel so satisfied

When you can see him smile.

[Most of the photos half-inched from http://www.eaglesonlinecentral.com.]

For a slightly more informative blog on Timothy, Poco and the Eagles, see http://sshh-sshh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/schmitten-part-one-flow-of-energy-was.html

And for an imagined scenario of Timothy’s experience with the Eagles, see http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/bad-timing-with-the-eagles/.

For a second poem, see http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/timothy-b-schmit-and-the-eagles-part-2/.

‘Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin …’: let Timothy Olyphant tell you a story – why the Justified actor is a born entertainer

raylan1

‘I still see suspicion in your eyes’: a guarded gaze from Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens.

The Justified star is a very funny guy[1] although not everyone gets his humour, it has to be said.

In interviews he’d rather talk trash about his family or his pets than wax on about his latest TV show/film, which means every appearance is a blast as far as I’m concerned. Surely we’re all fed up with guests hell bent on relentlessly plugging their latest project and dodging all questions about absolutely everything else, including their personal lives?

The actor gets on swimmingly with talkshow hosts like Ellen DeGeneres[2] and Bonnie Hunt, who realise virtually no answer is going to be in deadly earnest and lead him on to subjects he can rap on to his heart’s content. Other interviewers take a while to catch on, taking him seriously for far too long before twigging that he’s being flippant. The added bonus of Tim’s approach is that viewers glean more of an insight into life chez Olyphant in general rather than just his views on his work.[3] Though naturally I’m sure he only reveals what he wants you to see.

So if you want to find out how ‘needy’ he finds his kids, if they think he’s cool or not, how he sneakily procured them a pet cat, or learn how his dogs threaten him when it comes to going for a walk, watch his interviews.

Bonnie admires Tim’s best-looking man head tilt, which he is somewhat charmingly able to reprise on cue, ever the consummate professional.

My problem with Justified is that I feel it’s gone downhill since the very first season. The characters then became so extreme that they ceased to be realistic. Surely not everyone in Kentucky is a trigger-happy drug dealer, whore, pimp, felon, crime overlord or cold-blooded killer? And is life really held that cheap there that folk shoot each other so casually on such a regular basis? [But who am I to judge when suddenly it’s everyone’s favourite show and a four-year-old in a town called Hopkinsville has just shot and killed his six-year-old sister?]

I confess that I’ve never been a particular fan of Elmore Leonard’s work ,[4] taking particular issue with his portrayal of women. The writers here seem to be falling into the same trap – their female characters are mostly smart-mouthed fast-talking untrustworthy propositions, with the exception of  Ellen May (Abby Miller). I’m all for a femme fatale but please let’s have some variety.  The men who aren’t homicidal maniacs are portrayed as simple dumb creatures bewildered by the actions and motives of a whole bunch of tricksy, foxy women.  Sometimes the male redneck roles verge on the retarded (these people must be hilarious because they’re so stupid) and frankly it’s getting old.

boydandraylan

The frenemies briefly united in adversity.

I can appreciate that there can be black humour in every kind of situation but the scriptwriters are not locating it consistently. Sometimes you recognise a line that’s meant to raise a laugh but it just doesn’t work. It’s not funny enough and they’ve lost their way. The writing needs to be tighter and the lines need to be sharper.

I’m relieved that they don’t intend to turn Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) into a cartoon baddie, as it looked for a while like it was headed that way. The obstacles on his quest to go straight and become respectable could prove dramatic dynamite. I approve of the introduction of Colt (Ron Eldard), a reasonably diverting individual, and can see the potential for all kinds of conflict there. But I still reckon Boyd’s ambiguous relationship with Raylan is one of the programme’s greatest hooks.[5]

Tim remembers when he had to stroke Walt Goggins in order to ensure his compliance in the first part of this chat about Season 4 of Justified.

Incidentally, cool dude Olyphant hasn’t bothered to enter anything on his Facebook page since changing his cover photo on 30 April (let me just check that was this year – oh yes, well that’s something at least), yet had still managed to rack up nearly 92,000 likes. Is less more in his case? Is he one of those people who never has to try too hard?[6]

Actually, I don’t think so. He could do with someone posting news and photos on his behalf. Otherwise he’s not really capitalising on any of those fans who’ve given him the FB thumbs up. He could be stimulating us with all his latest trailers, outtakes, fan art, archive pictures, whatever, to repay our interest.

Few celebrity Facebookers are as assiduous in updating their pages as Josh Henderson of Dallas fame. Josh can post a video of himself whining about how he spent one and a half hours trying to upload another video of himself making a sandwich. Yes, he makes a video of himself making a sandwich … then he makes a video about making the video about making the sandwich. You gotta love him. Perhaps he’s taken it to extremes, but he grants fans such great access that they experience a genuine connection and subsequently feel invested in his career and success. See previous blog on the multifarious benefits of ‘liking’ the new John Ross Ewing.

Here’s proof of Tim’s olyphantastic qualities as an entertainer as he tells his buddies about an encounter with Vince Vaughn at the Go premiere after party.

Check out the way he controls the conversation, makes sure to repeat himself if spoken over, puts a hand up to silence the others and let them know he’s still going. Nobody puts Timothy in a corner.

He’s fantastic [Vince Vaughn]. So here’s what he said. He said something nice to me. We were introduced because of Doug Liman, because he was there. And he said something nice to me. And I tried to repay the compliment. And sincerely by the way …

He said, ‘No, no.’ He interrupted me, he wouldn’t let me repay the compliment.

He said, ‘No, no, this is your night. This is your night. And you know why? Because, because, because [Tim has to repeat himself to make sure the others shut up and listen] you were a little bit of the sexy guy and then you were a little bit of the menacing guy. And you didn’t push, and you didn’t push. And you trusted yourself, and you trusted yourself.’ And he says, and he said, ‘And you did that, you trusted yourself. This is your night. What are you drinking?’

And I said, like, ‘Johnnie Walker Black on the Rocks.’

And he said, ‘Johnnie Walker Black on the Rocks.’ And he walked away.

And I’ve never seen Vince Vaughn again.


[1] Even if he does say so himself, as he does (jokingly) in the above chat with Walton Goggins, assessing his contribution as ‘hilarious’.

[2] But, OMG, what do they give the women in the Ellen DeGeneres Show audience beforehand? Please tell me they are pumped up on some pharmaceutical cocktail or jeroboams of high sugar content soda. I can’t watch it any more because their way-overexcited, juvenile screaming, shouting, jumping up and down and hugging each other drives me absolutely crazy. It’s not charming, it’s not funny. Frankly, it’s pathetic. And it seems that, the more frantic and high-pitched they are, the more likely they are to be pulled on stage to win prizes. And the stupider they are, the more likely they are to win more prizes. A recent episode featured a woman who didn’t know which country Paris was in. I’ve been at TV show recordings and I know that the host will try to work the spectators up into a frenzy of enthusiasm but this is too ridiculous and over the top. It’s not worthy of the Ellen I used to love. And why aren’t there any men in the audience?

[3] Although he does exclaim after one brief synopsis [‘My character’s has been sleeping with someone I shouldn’t have, he’s shot a few people and he’s about to get in trouble for it’] when asked to set up a clip from a Justified episode, ‘I mean, that’s a good show, right? … When’s that on?’ in the Bonnie Hunt interview above.

[4] But actually I did love the films of Jackie Brown and 3:10 to Yuma.

[5] See previous blog on the conflict between these kinds of frenemies at http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/southfork-revisited-a-look-at-the-new-dallas/.

[6] Now he’s past 93,000 Facebook likes without posting anything new. There’s no holding this guy back.

Boyd and Raylan photo from istudiogossip.blogspot.com.

The Dallas cowboy who’s no one trick pony: can Josh Henderson’s John Ross Ewing III prove a worthy successor to the great JR?

Back for good: Dallas is returning for a third season.

Back for good? Dallas is returning for a third season.

After becoming hooked on the new Dallas, now (thank the Lord) promised a third season, I emailed a friend about the delicious perils of ‘liking’ Josh Henderson (who plays John Ross Ewing III) on Facebook.

Protesting rather too much, methinks, I quibbled:

‘But you know now he keeps pestering me by sending photos, Valentines, messages, etc. … Just won’t leave me alone. … Might have to take out a restraining order.’

As if.  Like I don’t totally love it. Because, let’s face it, we are the generation for whom there’s no such thing as too much information.

Our Josh does seem to be a bit of a (no, make that a whole lot of a) fame junkie and general media harlot, displaying a flair for self-promotion that borders on the genius without ever toppling into overkill.

In his early years as a budding star this manifested itself in an endearing proclivity to photograph himself while posing in front of the mirror in his underwear before posting said candid and revealing self-portraits on the internet. Talk about easy access. (Talk about a tease.)

Talk about a tease: a candid self-portrait.

Talk about a tease: a candid self-portrait.

No, seriously, though, the charming native Texan’s been doing a great job publicising Dallas. You can ‘like’ some people on Facebook and never hear from them at all. Josh makes you feel like one of the family, so assiduous is he in the posting of photos and ‘Happy Friday’ or whatever day greetings. It’s very welcoming and I’m sure pays off, with every post generating about 1,500-3,000 likes and 100+ comments from FB fans. He really is a poster boy for the benefits of social networking when it comes to raising your profile and directly connecting to your market.

He acknowledges his good fortune in being able to do the job he does and probably puts it all down to God. Many successful Americans believe The Man Upstairs is on their side. Josh is similarly blessed with this heaven-sent sense of entitlement. A self-avowed and sincere Christian, you get the distinct feeling that he was born knowing he would inherit the earth. You know what, it really couldn’t go to a nicer guy.

If he hadn’t gotten into showbiz, Henderson might have played baseball or gone into modelling, one of those annoyingly beautiful and ripplingly athletic people with several strings to their bow. It’s like they got dealt a way better hand than the rest of us. I mean, how is it fair that Timothy Olyphant should also be a world-class swimmer? [And for more on Olyphant see another bashful blog here.]

YouTube reveals that Josh tends to get videoed coming out of clubs and restaurants, maybe having tipped the press off about his presence beforehand. He’s unfailingly polite and obliging to fans and anyone with cameras and microphones. Can he be this pleasant all the time? So far it would seem so.

Now and again he’s accompanied by tough-looking friends slash bodyguards (almost as if he’s in their custody). These heavies gently manhandle him outside different venues, manoeuvring him around like some willing and pliable mannequin with a firm and proprietary hand on the shoulder or back of the head. Perhaps they’re there to shield him from unwanted intrusion or to prevent him from sharing too much with anyone who happens to ask him a question. I reckon they’re simply over-protective buddies but they certainly present some intriguing scenarios.

His personal life betrays a penchant for celebrity airheads and bimbos although in interviews he professes a preference for the spontaneous, outdoorsy type. There’s rumour of a relationship with fellow Dallas star Julie Gonzalo (Pamela Barnes) but Josh declares himself to be currently single.[1]

Also writes and performs his own songs, including the entire soundtrack for his movie The Jerk Theory (2009). This includes ‘God Made You Beautiful’, a rather bewitching and heartfelt ballad but hey, can you honestly see this guy getting together with someone who didn’t naturally look like they’d been airbrushed?

His other material leans toward Justin Timberlake-like pop with effect-heavy vocals and a dance beat.  Some of the numbers are definite growers though – I can picture him scoring a hit with the right video for ‘Let It Go’ or ‘Tonight’, whose lyrics aren’t quite as innocent and pure of intention as ‘God Made You’ but probably just as much in earnest. And there’s no denying the boy can sing.[2]

He used to be a charmer: Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval).

Oh, I remember when I was young and Dallas was on – I used to fancy Cliff Barnes. A lot. Scary but true. I can’t recall all that much about the crush but suspect I fell for him because he was intelligent and seemed to have integrity. Not so much now, gotta say. Looks were a low priority with me in those days, it would seem. How times have changed.

But then I listen to John Ross preface or append some remark to one of his many lovers[3] with a careless darlin’ and he could be JR, the late great Larry Hagman, playing both sides and loving every minute of it. That drawled darlin’, along with Sue Ellen and Bobby, the views of Southfork and the city skyline, can transport me back to that heady time of big hair, big shoulders and big big soaps.

Quick background Josh facts

  1. He won the US version of Popstars and became part of a band called Scene 23.
  2. His character Austin McCann romanced Julie Meyer (Andrea Bowen) on Desperate Housewives, after she declared herself to have no interest in ‘swaggering muscle-bound juvenile delinquents’ and he claimed to have ‘felt violated’ by her staring at his abs.
  3. He was born in Dallas, Texas but moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma with his mother.
  4. Has heterochromia, with one green and one blue eye.
  5. He is currently filming a movie called Swelter.

Take a look at my last blog on Josh taking on the mantle of the Dallas antihero.


[1] Update on dating situation – Josh is now stepping out with actress and reality TV star Andrea Boehlke. I heard that one dating deal-breaker with Josh is that he won’t go out with anyone who’s Googled him. I too have strict dating stipulations, one of which is that I refuse to date anyone who says ‘At the end of the day’, which disqualifies him and practically everyone else in the world. Think I’m going to be single a whole while longer with that proviso. ‘To be honest’ is another turn-off. People who pepper their conversation with that kind of unnecessary flannel make me want to stick my head in the lawnmower. Anyone else got any no-nos on the dating front?

[2] His songs featured in the series Over There and he may also write some material to sing in the next season of Dallas. It’s rumoured he can also dance pretty good.

[3] The character is a total tramp, shamelessly revelling in bedding all and sundry with a view to blackmail or a good deal. His sexual shenanigans often amount to whoring but that’s evidently not something a dude with such questionable morals baulks at. For this and all JRs, it would seem, the ends always justify the means.

A snippet of teen trivia on The Kinks and their ‘legendary hair’

kinkskuts

‘At least my hair is all mine’: Olga Jenson raises the burning issue of the day.

The fact that Dave Davies of The Kinks had had his hair cut led to international consternation in 1965, as borne out by this snippet of Swedish correspondence from a teen magazine called Fabulous dated 26 June of that year.[1]

If you’re interested in seeing what the younger Davies brother’s hair looks like now, you have the chance to see him on tour stateside.  For the latest dates from late May to June 2013, check http://www.kindakinks.net/tourdates.ph.

Those of you in old Blighty might get a chance to preview the tour at Dave’s now regular entry on the spiritual calendar, the spring satsang weekend at his home, which generally features two intimate evening concerts (see previous bashful blogs).[2] Taking place immediately beforehand, these could in effect serve as warm-up shows for the US venture. No doubt he’ll showcase material from his new album I Will Be Me (available to purchase at the gigs) as well as perform plenty of familiar songs from The Kinks’ and his own solo catalogue.

Meanwhile big brother Ray Davies’s latest venture into publishing is due for release in October this year. Americana is an exploration of Ray’s relationship with the land of the free, from which he and his band were ironically banned for a number of years in the 1960s. If his earlier unauthorised autobiography X-Ray is anything to go by, the reader can expect some candid and revealing testimony about Ray’s experiences across the pond.[3]

gangway

‘I gotta get the first plane home’: looks like the other boys got their hair cut for the flight.

Not to mention, no doubt, insights into his relationships with his brother and the rest of the band. I wonder if Ray would agree with this excerpt from Dave’s astrological assessment?

Dave Davies responds very strongly to the emotional tone and atmosphere around him, and can be dominated by his fluctuating and unpredictable moods. Davies often appears irrational to others because he cannot always explain the reason or source of his feelings. … [He] is also very sympathetic and understands the unspoken feelings and needs of others [but] takes slights and rebuffs very personally and though he may forgive a transgression by a friend or loved one, he never forgets it.[4]

Mind you, Ray’s astrological profile on this site is remarkably similar so I’m not sure how much stock you can put by any of this stuff. Of Ray we learn:

Serious and emotionally reserved, Ray Davies was probably never an exuberant, playful child, and he rarely expresses himself in a spontaneous, childlike manner. He is cautious about letting others get close to him and sometimes withdraws from people altogether. At times, Ray Davies feels lonely or isolated, even when he is with people. Learning to appreciate his own company and find satisfying solitary activities is essential to Ray’s emotional well-being.

But back to the US, where both Ray and Dave have lived for periods in the past, and where Ray has even been shot (and mistakenly reported as dead in a contemporary newspaper).

americana

‘This is Captain America calling’: Ray dishes the dirt on the good ol’ US of A.

From the days when he was prohibited entry, Ray had noted in song in 1968 that ‘American tourists flock to see the village green’ to 2007 when ‘Working Man’s Café’ wryly observed: ‘Everywhere I go it looks and feels like America’, it’s been hard for him to remain neutral on the nation. After all, it has invaded and colonised our culture pretty thoroughly over the intervening decades and that’s something none of us can help noticing, let alone Raymond Douglas.


[1] Thanks to Pamela for the spare copy she gave us at the uproarious annual Kinks Konvention 2012, held in the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park.

Southfork revisited: can Dallas’s dirty-dealing, double-crossing Ewings prove the compulsive viewing they did back in the 80s?

Without a chance for redemption, there’s no romance to the role: Josh Henderson as John Ross Ewing.

Without a chance for redemption, there’d be no romance to the role:  John Ross Ewing.

So what do people think of the new Dallas?

It may not have been the ratings hit that Five envisioned, with the channel relegating it to the later 11 pm slot on a Tuesday night,[1] but I’ve stuck with it and reckon it’s been well worth the viewing.

First off, I love the fact that they opted to keep the theme tune and style of the title sequence. Instantly recognisable, it transports you back to your schooldays when (and I speak for myself here) that week’s episode of Dallas was going to be the most exciting thing that happened to you.

But then I am someone who rotated chores with my siblings, lugging the family’s washing to the launderette with my Mum on a Saturday morning, for instance. Life was dull and plodding. To give you an idea of how slow my parents were to incorporate all mod cons, they didn’t get colour TV till 1981. Christmas 1981.

God rest the great JR: Larry Hagman.

God rest the great JR: Larry Hagman will of course be greatly missed.

But anyway, back to the subject at hand. And secondly, God bless Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy for revisiting their iconic roles, cementing the links between old and new. Their involvement validates the revival, lending it authenticity, gravitas and a certain cachet it might otherwise have lacked. Having said that, the old guard are now relinquishing the reins to the young bucks.

This second season is brash and bold, colourful and dynamic, with the warring Ewing clan constantly at each other’s throats when they are not forced to band together to face a common enemy. Alliances are forged fast and ditched just as quickly as the battle for supremacy builds.

Of course, greed plays a big part as a motivation, the lust for money, power and control. But the new series has introduced an environmental aspect, with Bobby’s son, the rather righteous Christopher standing for a progressive alternative to oil, as well as more straightforward and less underhand methods. A chip off the old block, John Ross, JR’s boy, has an eye firmly on the main chance, never missing an opportunity for dirty dealing and skulduggery.

I do enjoy the fact that the almost-sibling rivalry between Christopher and John Ross isn’t as black and white as the old battle between Bobby and JR. Purists may demur. I think the original JR may have been more of a definitive, even cartoonish, baddie, with few redeeming features. If he had veered even the nth of a degree toward altruism, tremors would have been felt along every plotline.

The cousins square up for a face off.

The cousins square up for a face off.

But John Ross’s role is more nuanced and the character more unsure and conflicted. Fallible and less in control of himself than his father, yet desperate for his approval, he is often seen to be rendered helpless by more experienced players in the game or worse, falling victim to his own insecurities and impulses.

So to those who say he’s not a patch on his daddy, it’s true that he’s less single-minded but also perhaps more rounded and believable as a villain. Let’s face it, he has pretty big boots to fill and the series may have an even harder job retaining viewers now that Larry has sadly left us.

Like the best (let’s face it, ever so slightly homoerotic) relationships between televisual enemies (Lindsey McDonald [Christian Kane][2] and Angel [David Boreanaz] in Angel, Clark Kent [Tom Welling] and Lex Luthor [Michael Rosenbaum] in Smallville), it’s not all dark and light.

Josh Henderson plays the (wouldn’t you love to redeem him?) antihero John Ross Ewing with just the right heady mix of cold-blooded calculation and hot-blooded emotion. You can practically see the tussle between the two dynamics on his face. His vulnerability in matters of the heart may not have pleased his old man but it makes him easier for us to identify with.

Crossed over to the dark side: Christian Kane as Lindsey in Angel.

Crossed over to the dark side:  Lindsey in Angel.

Like Lindsey in Angel, JR’s son’s not all bad by a long shot and often the most intriguing aspect of these characters is the inner turmoil between their evil aspirations and the nigglings of their latent moral principles. Set up as the immoral pole of the series universe, they have to actively wage war against any temptation to do good. A bad boy whose desires put him in conflict with his conscience as well as everybody else is one helluva sexy proposition. Without the possibility of redemption, there’s no romance to the role.

Jesse Metcalfe’s Christopher is just as passionate but suffers in comparison because he lacks that duality in his nature, the constant back and forth that you relish in John Ross. The villain’s role is definitely the more delicious one but Bobby’s pride and joy wasn’t going to be anything but honest, honourable and good. I’d like to see his stance on the moral high ground challenged – perhaps his cousin can provoke him into forsaking some of that integrity?[3]

If the series writers are thinking straight, they should exploit this chemistry of repulsion between the cousins, fuelled by healthy mutual disrespect and ancient grievances. It was interesting when the guys were fighting for the same girl, the practically skeletal Elena (Jordana Brewster). Subsequently, as JR’s Facebook (brilliant) commentary had it

John Ross is cavorting with Pamela Barnes [Julie Gonzalo]. What a fool. Had a talk with him and knocked some sense into him. He should know better than to get in bed with a Barnes. Anger and pride aside, my boy won’t betray me again …

Thus taking on another one of Christopher’s exes. Rather like Lindsey’s memorable dalliance with Angel’s ex, Darla (Julie Benz)  in Angel.

Remember, Smallville (which dubbed Clark and Lex scenes ‘Clex’ encounters) and Angel (whose writers acknowledged the popularity of such scenes with some tongue-in-cheek teasing)[4] both enjoyed multiple seasons.

Tongue-in-cheek banter and fisticuffs in Angel.

Of course another example of this type of relationship is that between Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) in Justified, arguably the most interesting aspect of that show. Never mind sniping and bickering, these two aren’t averse to shooting each other. Yet they really don’t seem that different when it comes down to it. These ‘frenemies’ also have a tendency to bed the same women and are constrained to band together on occasion to battle a common or more formidable adversary.

So the producers need to capitalise on the intensity of this crucial relationship, which is such an important element to the unfolding narrative of the future of the Ewings and the show. We need more needle and bitchy banter … perhaps even jockey the verbal sparring up to physical confrontations, some actual fisticuffs.

It can only help that both actors are fairly easy on the eye.[5]

One of those hospital bedside scenes between rivals, also common in Justified. Okay, that got deleted so here’s a clip on one of the Ewing love triangles.

Not only does the series have the potential to gain fans from the original but it should also be able to attract a whole generation of new converts.

Okay, some of the old fans seem to be bordering on the obsessive compulsive. One commented on the Facebook page,

One thing I noticed on this week’s episode, and I can’t believe I didn’t pay attention to this before, but, remember that what is now Bobby’s office at Southfork use [sic] to be the Ewing dining room. Well, the old dining room use [sic] to have a window opposite the entrance to the dining room, but now that window is gone. So, I guess in totally remodeling Southfork, Bobby had the window removed???

Seriously, how would you remember something like that? For a start, the guy must have a photographic memory.

But at least he’s watching it, and pretty closely, so more power to him. For now, I’ll continue to do the same. It’s what Larry would have wanted.

For more on Josh Henderson, see http://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/is-josh-hendersons-john-ross-a-worthy-successor-to-the-great-jr/.


[1] I quote from a letter sent to explain the rescheduling: ‘The series has not been performing as well as we had hoped and is likely to continue in this time slot.’

[2] Incidentally, Christian has a pretty successful career as a country musician on the side.  See http://www.christiankane.com/. Josh Henderson has also dabbled with music, although of a different variety. See www.theewebsite.com/JoshHenderson. Both actors were born in Texas and moved to towns in Oklahoma and feature, along with Timothy Olyphant and David Boreanaz in a list of modern-day cowboys at http://www.buddytv.com/slideshows/supernatural/tvs-top-10-modernday-cowboys-10166.aspx. Maybe they should cast Christian in Dallas now that Leverage is done?

[3] First billing rotates each week between the two young guns.
[4] Angel: I want you, Lindsey.
[pause]
Angel: Thinkin’ about rephrasing that.
Lindsey McDonald: Yeah, I think I’d be more comfortable if you did.

[5] Both also had early roles in Desperate Housewives.

The TV talent shows we love to hate and (allegedly) hate to watch

Jamie Archer performing a blistering ‘Hurt’ on The X Factor.

Yes, I know everyone mocks them and half the world seems convinced that Simon Cowell is the devil incarnate,[1] but in the past, TV talent shows, flawed as they may be, have thrown up some undeniably awe-inspiring performances.

Naturally and inevitably, they generate an awful lot of dross as well.[2] Nowadays, The X Factor may be making the news more for the way it’s haemorrhaging viewers than for its showcasing of potential stars. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Generally but not always, these terrific individual performances have come from people who unfortunately didn’t last the distance rather than the ultimate victors, but I believe we should celebrate these great moments from the also-rans on The X Factor, American Idol and their ilk nevertheless.

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Joe McElderry, 2009 winner.

I get fed up of folk moaning that it’s not real music and the contestants aren’t real musicians. They are still just people trying to get a break. Why knock that?[3] What I find perpetually amusing is that the people voicing these complaints and whose antipathy to Simon Cowell is the most virulent are always those in whom I’ve never really discerned an interest in any type of music, ‘real’ or otherwise.

They rejoiced in 2009 when a pointless-seeming, sour-grapes campaign to make something else other than an X Factor winner number 1 at Christmas, succeeded, even though the chosen contender, Rage against the Machine, was at the time signed to Epic, under the same umbrella of Sony Music Entertainment, as Cowell’s label, Syco. All the push did was generate more sales for both Sony companies.

These easily led clones mistakenly believe they are rebelling when they’re just jumping on board a different bandwagon. One of the lyrics to the RAM song ‘Killing in the Name’ is ‘Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me.’ Which ironically seems to me to be exactly what the sheep downloading it did, at the instigation of some spoilsport nay-sayers on Facebook.

I also have to wonder if much of the hatred directed at Cowell stems in fact from pure jealousy simply because he’s cornered the market in family entertainment and is making a mint out of it.

rylan

Rylan Clark was a gracious loser.

I have to concede that I don’t particularly rate the winners who have gone on to build impressive careers, with the sole exception of Will Young (see below).  I can’t see what all the fuss is about when it comes to the winsome Leona Lewis, for instance. And it was criminal that Alexandra Burke’s Christmas 2008 in-yer-face rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ beat Jeff Buckley’s to number 1 that year.[4] Also couldn’t stand the mealy-mouthed and rather too much up-himself James Arthur from last year. But, on the other hand, 2012 did introduce us to the magnificent manifestation that is Rylan Clark, subsequent (and deserved) winner of Celebrity Big Brother this year. I’m sure he earned himself a whole raft more fans with his wit and personality.

But let’s try to illustrate what I mean about those outstandingly standout standards. See Jamie Archer’s rendition of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Hurt’ on The X Factor above.[5] He knows he nailed it.

Since the show Jamie has played gigs with fellow contestant Danyl Johnson. Charismatic Danyl was rather bitchily ‘outed’ as gay on the show one week by Dannii Minogue. Cheryl Cole seemed to turn against him once she knew she no longer had a chance with the young stud (see his first audition when she’s saucily winking at him at about a minute in, hoping maybe to line up a successor to Ashley Cole – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uav9H407-lk) and led the public backlash like a modern-day Boadicea[6] taking up arms against the Romans. At the beginning, she declares ‘I would take you in my category right now’ while Simon Cowell declares Danyl’s performance ‘the best first audition I have ever heard’. But soon she is denouncing the poor guy as ‘cocky’, while Louis Walsh disingenuously berates him for lacking the ‘likeability’ factor in his best self-fulfilling prophecy fashion.

Here Danyl is on the actual show, performing Jennifer Hudson’s ‘And I’m Telling You’ with the utmost commitment and panache.

Danyl Johnson’s delivery of  ‘And I’m Telling You’.

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Aiden Grimshaw with Matt Cardle in their celebrated bromance.

My all-time favourite performance from the show so far comes courtesy of Aiden Grimshaw, perhaps most famous for his well-publicised ‘bromance’ with eventual 2010 winner Matt Cardle.[7] He has since had moderate success with his album Misty Eye, released in 2012, but seems to have lost his attractive Blackpool accent in favour of the now ubiquitous faux London one favoured by artists like Kate Nash.

A shock early casualty in 2010, the tongue-tied adolescent had a certain deer-in-the-headlights quality – stunned, wide-eyed and usually speechless – an endearing vulnerability you would have thought certain to send most teenage girls (and one in ten boys) running to their mobiles. His vocal style was at times self-indulgent (on ‘Rocket Man’, for instance, in the week of his downfall) but he’d also shown genuine promise with some mesmerising performances. And after his first audition Simon had pronounced ‘Now that’s what I call a popstar.’

The first week he appeared tricked out in something that looked a bit like a straitjacket for ‘Mad World’, the slightly deranged persona persisting into the following weeks’ ‘Jealous Guy’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (my favourite, below), in which he came across as a dangerous stalker on the edge of paranoia. Intensity and conviction his bywords, ‘Thriller’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dRLRFcfXjs) saw him tapping into his dark side yet again while ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ continued the theme of the spurned, inconsolable and psychologically unhinged lover.

Aiden Grimshaw’s so committed he should be committed ‘Diamonds Are Forever’.

A.J. Tabaldo’s American Idol rendition of the much-attempted ‘Feeling Good’ is just a sonic representation of pure joy. Watch his fellow contenders openly weeping during his amazingly self-possessed final elimination performance, which starts about 1.20 in.

A. J. Tabaldo’s ‘Feeling Good’ though he’s been eliminated.

Oh, and don’t forget humble binman Andy Abraham’s heart-wrenching performance of ‘The Greatest Love of All’, another highlight. You believed every word. Also loved Mary Byrne’s 2010 audition, singing Tom Jones’s torch song, ‘I, Who Have Nothing’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hoDWyWsxFc).

The argument of course is that these people wouldn’t go on to develop recording careers because they are the wrong age or body shape, aren’t sufficiently trendy and don’t conform to the current singing style, the notable exception being the amazing Susan Boyle. She bucked the trend after losing on Britain’s Got Talent. Here she is at her first audition before transformation, someone who deserves a break despite not immediately looking like what people expect a megastar to look like.

Susan Boyle’s breakout audition performance on Britain’s Got Talent.

I don’t think we should see a recording career as the aim of the shows, although that’s what the judges profess it to be. Instead I view their results as a validation of the British public and its championing of the underdog, together with an instant appreciation for the talent of a performer without regard to their likely longevity in a cut-throat and fickle business. Sometimes we get behind an artist simply because the industry views them as less marketable for one of these superificial reasons. The absolute crap that’s in the charts these days is a testament to how easy it is to be popular if you’re mediocre but mainstream.

willyoung

Will Young forged a career after winning Pop Idol.

But I’ve also grown to love some winners whom I initially didn’t much care for, such as Will Young, the first winner of the UK’s Pop Idol. Will has carved himself out a stellar career, on stage, in music and film. His ‘Leave Right Now’ was a perfect little once-bitten number; and he’s cornered the market in those trenchant, hard-done-by lover songs, such as ‘Grace’.

I don’t much like Girls Aloud or the national treasure that is Cheryl Cole.[8] But I can’t deny that the group’s first single ‘Sound of the Underground’[9] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Wv4SCBiTE) was an absolutely brilliant pop song. The video is also dangerously cool – it’s pretty hard to take your eyes off the girls and equally difficult not to get up and dance.

So I know it’s nice to feel some TV solidarity and we love to hate the same things as everyone else. On top of that, the talent has undoubtedly declined in recent years[10] but let’s take a moment to applaud the real stars, the early losers, the runners-up, those who gave it their all and lost out in the long run.


Find out more about these artists at www.jamieafro.com/, danyljohnson.com, www.aidengrimshaw.com/, http://www.willyoung.co.uk/global/home.

[1] Seriously, mention his name in company and people do all but cross themselves and spit on the floor in disgust.

[2] The supposed Essex everyman and dull-as-ditchwater Olly Murs, Diana Vickers, Rebecca Ferguson, the strangely mystifying phenomenon that is One Direction.

[3] Does anyone remember Journey South? You couldn’t get more real than those guys. They’d been struggling to get a foothold in the business for years, gigging in pubs and clubs. The likeable, down-to-earth Pemberton brothers from Middlesbrough made the last three of The X Factor in 2005, subsequently touring and recording an album that went to number 1. All right, nothing much happened for them after that. But who could begrudge them the short-lived success they did enjoy, which they wouldn’t have had without the show?

[4] Plus, I thought JLS should have won, after consistently enjoyable performances throughout. Loved their first single ‘Beat Again’ but since then the music’s been a bit too generic and ‘in-the-club-put-your-hands-up-JLS-in-the-house’ for me. I think they’re better than that.

[5] Sadly, the actual 2009 winner Joe McElderry didn’t enjoy much of a follow-up career, despite his beautiful voice and pleasant personality.

[6] I’m not changing to Boudicca; Boadicea’s so much more poetic.

ashley&cheryl

Cheryl and Ashley Cole.

[7] Simon Cowell has apparently banned Matt from ever appearing on The X Factor again, after the singer’s fallout with Cowell’s Syco label. See http://fuckyeahmattandaiden.tumblr.com/ for more on the bromance.

[8] Her popularity seems unshakable, even recovering from a nightclub scandal involving allegedly racial abuse of a black bathroom attendant. She was cleared of the ‘racially aggravated’ attack but found guilty of assault, having punched the poor woman after an altercation about lollipops.

[9] Written by Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins and Niara Scarlett.

[10] Something it’s easy to tell by the number of times the judges insist that it’s the best season ever and that the talent’s way outstripped that of previous years. Methinks they doth protest too much.


‘Everybody’s in movies’: calling the powers that be with further unsolicited casting ideas for their upcoming movie on The Kinks

tomtocrop

‘Ah, Tom is young and Tom is bold’: could Tom Hughes be the one to fill out the infamous Avory underpants?

mickavory

‘Can’t get these people off my back’: Mick had had enough by 1984.

I’m assuming the Julien Temple-Jeremy Thomas film project about The Kinks is progressing though I’ve no idea what stage of development it’s now reached. Last I heard Ray Davies had quibbles about initial treatments. But with no updates forthcoming, fingers crossed no news is good news. And brothers Ray and Dave Davies seem to have both attended a family get-together this month without visible rancour, a positive sign that relations haven’t broken down.

Still, I have no intention of shirking my duties and will continue to seek out and propose contenders for the main roles.[1]

With that in mind, I’d like to suggest Brit Tom Hughes (above left) for the backbone of the band, stalwart, laconic drummer Mick Avory. Recently seen this actor playing a moody, disaffected rebel simmering with unfocused attitude in a dead-end factory job in Cemetery Junction. I think the two of them look remarkably alike and I’ll wager Tom could wear the infamous Avory underpants with something approaching style.

mgoode1

‘Put on your pin-striped suit’: Matthew Goode as the 70s corporate cocksucker in Cemetery Junction.

forpete2

‘Hello people we used to be’: who should play Pete in the movie?

In fact, also in that film, Matthew Goode (pictured left) played the oily, caddish, chauvinistic salesman with considerable aplomb. Maybe he could get his acting chops into the part of fashion-conscious, scooter-riding mod bassist Pete Quaife, to whom he bears a passing resemblance?

Meanwhile, a friend has suggested singer-actor Carl Barat might make a reasonable stab at Ray Davies. There are physical similarities, for sure – hair and eyes – but Carl’s nose looks a little too distinctive to me. I still can’t find a credible or convincing Ray.

'But he's been practising days to make his hair fall a certain way': Libertine Carl Barat.

‘But he’s been practising days to make his hair fall a certain way’: Libertine Carl Barat.

Michael Mosley still gets my vote for Dave Davies, at least at one stage in his life. Since recommending him in the last bashful blog on the subject, I’ve witnessed his turn in the final season of Scrubs.

In the medical sitcom, his character Drew is described by girlfriend Denise (Eliza Coupe) as a ‘med student who thinks he’s way cooler than he is … kind of a serial killer vibe’, one of those self-reflexive in-jokes as the actor is regularly cast as such.

The 5′ 10½”[2] native of Iowa says of their on-screen relationship, ‘We’re going to continue to be weird and creepy and awkward together.’

michael-mosley-photo

‘So don’t shoot me’: Michael Mosley gets his weapon out in Castle.

The epitome of effortless charismatic cool, to the knuckle-biting envy of previous students, he boasts one of the most intriguing backstories ever created. This imbues his understated delivery of the best lines, such as ‘I lost my virginity to a sofa’, ‘I’ve eaten out of dumpsters’, ‘I’ve been through my bald black dude phase. No, seriously, I have’ with throwaway panache. Playing an ex-con with a scary tattoo, he also rocks a set of scrubs.

But back to the movie, producer Jeremy Thomas, who has secured the rights to both Kinks brothers’ autobiographies, has said of the project: ‘It’s incredibly exciting, a unique tale, the Cain and Abel of rock’.

I don’t think that in the case of the Davies there was ever a clean distinction between bad and good brother, however. It was more a story of faults on both sides and a basic personality clash that became more pronounced the more time they were forced to spend together, exacerbated by familiarity and proximity, as most sibling rivalries are. With conflict the essence of drama, the story should make a memorable movie, replete with its fair quota of ‘celluloid villains and heroes’.

mm2

‘He would still turn round and smile’: Michael Mosley flashes a grin in Pan Am.

Director Julien Temple has worked with both Ray and Dave before so presumably has their trust in this endeavour though I imagine that, as work progresses on You Really Got Me, the movie, it’ll be harder and harder to keep both parties satisfied.

If you’ve any ideas about people who would make passable Davies brothers in the film, perhaps one of Dave Davies’s sons, whom I haven’t considered yet, please let me know via comments. The same goes for the other band members.

Don’t worry, though, bashful is still on the case and will keep burrowing relentlessly to snout out more possibles for the roles.

Check out a blog on a recent Jackie Leven tribute evening here.

Lyrics from kindakinks.net.


[1] I’ll disregard Dave’s facetious suggestion that Peter Kay play Ray.

[2] I love that he puts in that half an inch, being someone who would never dream of omitting the three-quarters of an inch that completes my own vertical dimension.