Class And Beauty

I think it was a year ago when some friends and I were talking about movies, actors and so on, and the question was asked: “If you were going to produce a movie which needed Grace Kelly as your female star, which modern-day actress could you cast in that role?” (Lest we forget, here are a couple pics of Grace Kelly as a reminder.)

And try as we may, we couldn’t think of an actress who could portray that quiet, classy elegance and beauty.

I had forgotten Sela Ward. We all had.

I think she would be perfect… or did I miss someone else? Thoughts and suggestions in Comments.

Slower Hand

Several years ago, as a demonstration about the importance of the rhythm unit (bass and drums) to a band’s sound, I had to play bass guitar to a live audience for the first time in over thirty years.

And I could barely play for more than a few seconds before the pain in my knuckles and wrist slowed me down. I haven’t touched a bass since.

At the time, I was 54 years old. How it would feel to play now, almost ten years later, I can only imagine — and how much pain I’d feel in another ten years or so is unimaginable.

Which is why I read this headline with the utmost sympathy for the man:

Musician Eric Clapton, 72, admits he’s going deaf and his “hands just about work” as he reveals concerns he will “embarrass himself” at 2018 shows

To say that I’m a fan of Eric Clapton would be one of the world’s great understatements. I first became aware of his skill when I heard the Cream hit “White Room”, which was a ground-breaker in that it had two lead solos — unheard of in any popular tune of the time. What was also ground-breaking was Clapton’s virtuosity, because (as I once explained to my son) while the solos now sound unremarkable, almost pedestrian, they were unlike anything else being played at the time. His playing was such that it spawned the various “Clapton Is God” graffiti on so many walls in Britain. My friend, the late Johnny Fourie was not only one of the jazz guitar greats, but was also for a couple of years the band leader at the famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. After having seen him play a late-night jam session there, Johnny later described Clapton to me as “a shy, skinny kid who played like his guitar was on fire.”

And he got better. Much better.

I’ve seen Clapton play live, once at Madison Square Garden (during his Cocaine period), and much later at the old Chicago Stadium where he played only his favorite blues songs. While he was good at MSG, he was sensational in Chicago, and anyone who knows anything about him will know that while rock music might have made him famous, it’s the blues which holds his heart.

Here’s (to my mind) one of the best examples of his blues prowess:

Stormy Monday

…and here’s something different he did a couple years ago:

Autumn Leaves

Yeah, he can play the old jazz standards as well. Well, duh; he’s Eric Clapton.

Old age catches us all in its icy grip eventually, and not even “God” can escape it.

Balance

It occurs to me that of late I may have been giving women a hard time on this here website, and I’ve also been discussing various examples of female pulchritude in my usual drooling Male Bastard fashion, so my Lady Readers may be getting a little ticked off.

Here then, in the interests of balance, is something for said Lady Readers:

I have no idea who he is (British, to judge from the label — “What label?” I hear you ask), so go ahead and just look at him like a sex object.

I owe you all one.

Comments, on this post, are restricted to the Ladies.

Miscarriage Of Justice

Lots of us don’t care much for our neighbors. But this old fart has set a new record:

Axe-wielding pensioner, 67, threatened to chop his neighbours’ heads off and burn down their house because they’re SCOTTISH

Apparently this is a Bad Thing in Britishland, despite the fact that many Stout Bulldogs share his sentiments. What disturbs me are the charges the man faces:

Rattigan was found guilty after a trial of using abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence and racially aggravated harassment

Now I’ve heard some bullshit laws in my time — and since when was abusing Porridge Monkeys a “racial” issue, anyway?

Still, considering that said old fart is a Pikey, we can probably file this whole matter under “Nobody Gives A Shit, Either Way”… because apparently, calling the so-called “travelers” (a.k.a. gypsies) by the name “Pikeys” is also a racial issue.

I report, you decide.

 

NEW OLD STUFF!

In an earlier post on music, I griped:

 I’ve become sick of all the old music, “old” being defined as 60s-70s music of my rock star (uh huh) youth. I mean, if I hear “Sweet Home Alabama” and anything by Led Zeppelin one more time, I’m going to slip the safety off the 1911.

So maybe that’s what Classic Rock needs: for new guys to reinterpret their music (as opposed to just reproducing it), much as Dred Zeppelin did to Led Zeppelin (I love the Dred, by the way).

And it’s happened, in (of all places) Finland (!). Have a listen to the Leningrad Cowboys (!!) performing the aforementioned Sweet Home Alabama live with the Red Army Choir (!!!) and be entertained by all the rest of the Cowboys’ interpretations of the old hits as they appear on the page (e.g. the turgid Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door and even the syrupy Those Were The Days).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am a happy man today, and I have The Englishman to thank for bringing these guys to my attention. (I know they came on the scene in the 1990s, but somehow I missed them. More fool me.)

And now, if you’ll excuse me… I’m going to buy the album.