Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Modern Gal's Guide to Glamour

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2010 is to become a more glamorous gal. Day to day, I am not 'all glammed up' per se. More often than not, I am running late and skimp makeup all together. But when I do apply makeup, I go all out and channel my inner glam goddess. The beautiful bombshell, with her adoration of smoky eyes, red lipstick, silks and chiffon, did not pass away with Old Hollywood, and many fabulous women today perfectly embody 'glamour.' We may never have another Sophia, Marilyn, or Brigitte, but we have Penelope, Kate, and Claudia. If you want to know the name of a certain person pictured here, drop me a note and I'll fill you in on their fabulousness!

Who do you look up to as women of glamour?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Dolly Rocker Girl Dream Christmas List

1. Betsey Johnson Faux Fur Raggy Coat: its so chic, warm, and if paired with Chuck Taylor converse, green pants, and a red button down it would be very George-at-the-rooftop-concert apropos, or alternately when worn with a gypsy caftan, ethnic baubles, and a swipe of kohl eyeliner it will look right out of the closet of Anita Pallenberg.
2. Vera Wang Rose Tie Necklace: at $650 it's a very pricey piece, but I cannot get over the romantic glamour of the nude rosettes combined with the dark crystal facets and black satin ribbon. But hey, that's why this is a dream list, right? Santa I'm sure can get a little creative for little ole' me.
3. House of Harlow 1960 Gold Aztec Bangles: for an instant luxe-hippie look, I would stack several different colors together with various other gold chains and bracelets.
4. Gypset Style: I've been dying to get a hold of Julia Chaplin's book ever since I found out the fabulous Mignot Sisters are profiled in it. I plan to one day escape my boringly conventional humdrum life and become a fabulous gypsetter. This really just constitutes being research into my future. It's very scholastic.
5. Fourteen Eye Zipper Boots by Dr. Martens: On the days I want to channel my inner Rayanne Graff, I need to have these boots. The patent adds a fun '80s edge to an otherwise grunge staple. And plus, I live in the snow now, so these will be practical (the patent is water-resistant, right? Yes yes yes) I can already imagine wearing these with fishnets or thigh high socks, a fun party dress or a large flannel button down. These have SUCH potential.
6. Rodarte for Target Collection: The geniuses at Rodarte have managed to create affordable clothes in their signature girlishly feminine style. In their Target collection, released just the other week, tough leopard prints and loud colors are mixed with dainty dresses and pale-shaded cardigans. I love this swiss-lace dot dress in 'Alice in Wonderland'-blue paired with the leopard print bow belt. With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice, this look comes in at only $53.
7. Purple Suede Gladiator Sandals, as seen on Jenny Boyd: This is really where the dream aspect of this list comes in. Though Jenny is the one seen here wearing them in a photoshoot, Pattie was the one who ended up with these incredible shoes, rocking them hard core during her 1967 trip to California with hubby Georgie. If anyone knows how I can get a pair on these (or even similar-yet-groovy styles), not only will you be my best friend for life, but also my personal savior.
8. Tons of DVDS, including "Wonderwall," "Magical Mystery Tour," "Troop Beverly Hills," "Lagerfeld Confidential," and "How to Steal a Million": The Jane Birkin vehicle "Wonderwall" has been quite a challenge for me to find, but I'm interested to check it out since the music was scored in Eastern fashion by George Harrison and the sets were designed in a swirl of cosmic colors by the Dutch art group The Fool. I've seen clips of "MMT" online, but YouTube just does not suffice anymore and I want to see it in it's full, critically-unacclaimed glory. Along with the Anna Wintour doc "The September Issue," the film "Lagerfeld Confidential" gives a rare glimpse at one of fashion's most enigmatic creatures, Chanel's guru Kaiser Karl. Featuring a young Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley fame) and Cheers alum Shelley Long, "Troop Beverly Hills" was my absolute favorite movie for a time in my life. I absolutely abhorred the thought of joining the real Girl Scouts after discovering my Troop Mother would be nothing like Long in this movie. Also, I'm in a very Godard stage, so I'm hoping to score "Masculin Feminine," "Breathless," or "Contempt" to add to my DVD collection.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

a harrison boy is always in fashion...

Wow, this spread from Fashion Rocks! is so old it's practically vintage now, isn't it? While you ignore my lame attempt at a joke, please enjoy reminiscing to a simpler time full of opulence and fantasy - I'm talking about circa 2007, when these photos were taken, NOT the sixties. Again, lame joke aside, this is perhaps one of my favorite photoshoots of recent years. And I love that Dhani's outfit in the lower left corner is quite similar to his dad's at the rooftop concert so many years before.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past

This is something that I had to write for my seminar class (*with slight edits*), in response to The Great Gatsby (1974):
When I was fourteen, I feel head-over-heels in love with this adaptation of The Great Gatsby. I hadn’t read the book, mind you, so my basic understanding of the story was that an adorably flighty socialite had an affair with a suave millionaire, all the while the guy from Law and Order just stood in the background. For years after that, I nursed an obsession for the costumes Ralph Lauren designed for the film, and frequently cited the movie as ‘incredible.’ Upon viewing this film again, my opinion of it has changed. No longer are the gorgeous costumes, perfect settings, and lush music blinding me into thinking that this film is without fault.
First of all, I think it says something that the first thing I loved about the film was the way it looked. It was still true for me that while I was watching it again I was struck by how beautiful everything and everyone was. Well, except for the actress who portrayed Myrtle – she sort of scared me. The film succeeded in capturing the shallow beauty of the time, but I think it relied too heavily on that, and, in doing so, it turned one of the most celebrated stories of the 20th century from a character study into a costume movie. It is an issue of style over substance.
Mia Farrow plays Daisy as a fragile, naïve wife in a jittery way that makes me imagine her as Rosemary Woodhouse, but instead of mod shift dresses and a Vidal Sassoon haircut she’s wearing flapper dresses and finger waves. I’m not sure that she was the most appropriate person to play Daisy, but she played the character well. Robert Redford is just too pretty (in a masculine way, of course) for me to believe him to be the guy from the wrong side of the tracks who is a bootlegger and swindler. If the perfect ‘All-American Man’ were to exist, it would be Robert Redford. More specifically, it would be Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby. Overlooking his appearance, he gives a pretty decent performance. My only critical note was that Redford carried himself throughout the film as a rich man, not as a newly rich man. I was intimidated by Redford’s Gatsby, not intrigued by him. Sam Waterston’s portrayal of Nick Carraway was a great performance, although not quite at all like the Nick I imagined in the book. Waterston’s Nick has this sort of wide-eyed look to him most of the time as though he is more baffled by this crowd than fascinated.
I think what keeps this film from being superb is the fact that it’s really long. The appeal of Fitzgerald’s novel is that it’s exciting and quick – just like the Roaring Twenties – all the while remaining poignant and beautiful. I think that the production team was too consumed with crafting every bit of the film to be just right that it came off being very structured and crafted. The director’s choice to make the film almost two and a half hours long makes the story seem stilted and sluggish. And there are way too many awkward silences between Daisy and Gatsby to consider theirs a torrid, passionate love. While I do respect Coppola’s efforts to translate as much of the original text into the screenplay, I thought that using so much of Nick’s narration and turning it into dialogue didn’t quite work.
I wonder if one day someone will remake this film in a way that properly honors the book. I’ve heard that Baz Luhrmann is to direct one that will be released by the end of next year, but I’m not sure if even he could capture the story’s essence appropriately. I am a great fan of his work, but I cannot imagine his preferences for Bollywood-esque sets and musical rapidity would really come off well in the lazy Long Island setting of this story. I used to have daydreams (during the brief time I imagined myself becoming a filmmaker) about making a new Great Gatsby – one that everyone would love. And to my future critics who will say its impossible for me to recapture a time almost a hundred years before, I will quote Gatsby: “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!

Friday, December 4, 2009

jane be jane, and if sometimes that might drive them away, let them stay there, you don't need them anyway

For whatever reason, Jane Asher has been on my mind as of late. Not that that's any real surprise - she's one of my favorite gals to write about. But I find myself thinking more and more that despite really liking her as an actress and style icon of the sixties, I don't really know much about Jane the person. Sure I've read about her background, her eccentric musically-inclined upperclass family, and her relationship with Paul, but I haven't really read or seen much in terms of her own opinions on matters. The only real interview I've found of her is when she and Paul came back from Rishikesh together, but she talks for only a moment there.
I know that a memoir of her life will probably never happen, which I don't mind at all - I have a lot of respect for her not wanting to discuss her life and relationships from when she was a young girl. But it just sort of gets at me a bit - she's still so much a mystery to me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

i love the black and white, i love the play of light, the way contini puts his image through a prism

I'm developing a quick but overwhelming obsession with Nine, the musical directed by Rob Marshall of Chicago fame and based on Fellini's 81/2. It stars the most incredible cast - Daniel Day Lewis plays Guido Contini, a famed Italian director who struggles to overcome a monumental creative (not to mention mid-life) crisis, all the while trying to balance all the women in his life, including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his mother (Sophia Loren), his cinematic muse (Nicole Kidman), an American Vogue journalist (Kate Hudson), a whore from his youth (Fergie), and his costume designer and confidant (Judi Dench).
What I am digging most about the film is its fantastic wardrobes, each perfectly suited for the character. My favorite is Kate Hudson's character Stephanie, a Vogue journalist from the States who absolutely loves Guido Contini and tries to seduce him. Her look is that of a mod go-go girl, with tons of over-the-knee boots, miniskirts, fishnet tights, scarves, backcombed hair, heavy makeup, and clothing colors of black, white, pink, and silver. Hudson even gets to sing "Cinema Italiano" which was written especially for her. The tune is reminiscent of '60s Frenchyé-yé pop, and talks about Stephanie's adoration of Italian film and how she wants to live in the world of Guido Contini's cinema.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

i can tell you nothing new has happened since i last saw you, won't you call me miss o'dell?

"I wasn't famous. I wasn't even almost famous. But I was there." And so begins Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved. Phew, quite a title. But it's really only the microscopic tip of the iceberg in Chris O'Dell's rock 'n roll life. I swear, O’Dell was literally there for every major thing in rock and roll during the late sixties through the early eighties. She was far beyond just being “with the band,” she was part of the family, an insider who was trusted more than just an employee but also as a friend.
In 1968, after a chance dinner with Derek Taylor, O'Dell packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to London to work at the Beatles' Apple offices. She palled around with the infamous Francie Schwartz and other Beatle regulars (like Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall), and hung out with some of the Hell’s Angels before becoming best friends with Pattie Boyd and eventually Maureen Starkey, who were both cold to her initially because of their jaded and untrusting view of women entering the Beatle circle after years of infidelity (Pattie recalled in her memoir Wonderful Tonight that she worried "when Chris walked in through the front door, looking like Goldie Hawn and chatting confidently with George ... I guessed he had brought her home because he intended to sleep with her"). 
She worked for Peter Asher, who was employed at Apple as the A&R manager (but by that time Paul and Jane had broken up and in only a few months would Paul marry Linda), was in the studio for recording sessions of the White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be, even singing backup for the chorus of “Hey Jude.” She was present for the Beatles rooftop concert and had a romance with Leon Russell, a “friend” of Bonnie and Delaney, for who he wrote the song “Pisces Apple Lady.” She delivered Bob Dylan’s harmonicas by helicopter for his comeback concert in ’69 Isle of Wight, and recalls on the flight back with John and Yoko that they were afraid they were going to crash so they all chanted Hare Krishna over and over again.
After the Beatles broke up, she lived with Pattie and George at Friar Park, helping to decorate the mammoth house, typing the lyrics for George’s album All Things Must Pass, and aiding in the organization of the Concert for Bangladesh. She was also there when Harrison had to read in the newspaper that the Beatles were kaput, over his cup of morning tea. Harrison wrote the wonderful (and greatly underrated, if I might add) song “Miss O’Dell” for her after she was supposed to hang out with him in Malibu one night but then blew him off. The song became a B-side for “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth),” and is where the book’s title comes from.
After that, she worked as a P.A. for the Rolling Stones on their 1972 tour, where she became good friends with Bill Wyman’s wife Astrid, slept with Mick Jagger, and did a drug run for Keith Richards, who she fondly remembers as a sweetheart with a bad boy exterior. In Stones circles, she is the “mystery woman” on the cover of Exile on Main Street.
She worked as a tour manager, working with Bob Dylan on his Rolling Thunder Revue Tour, and became entangled in yet another love triangle with filmmaker Sam Sheppard and Joni Mitchell (becoming immortalized as the “woman down the hall” in Mitchell’s song “Coyote”) before having an affair with Bob Dylan himself. After working with who she called “The Big Three” – The Beatles, The Stones, and Dylan – O’Dell continued her work as one of the only female tour managers out there by working with (to name a few) Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Fleetwood Mac; Earth, Wind and Fire; Queen; Linda Ronstadt; Santana; Phil Collins; and ELO.
She ended her legendary career in the eighties after working with Echo and the Bunnymen, whom she doesn’t really have much to say about. At the point in her life when rock music was only a shadow of what it once was, Chris decided to find something else. She attended a party given by her very good friend Astrid Wyman in the south of France, and met the man that would become her husband, the Honourable Anthony John Mark Russell, a nobleman who was the son in an eccentric British family belonging to the House of Lords. She had a son, William, whose godparents were Ringo Starr and Pattie Boyd (natch…) and who is now in his early twenties. She gave up alcohol and drugs, and eventually moved back to Tucson after divorcing her first husband, becoming a counselor and hypnotherapist specializing in addiction and recovery. Her story comes full circle with her move back to Tucson. O’Dell spent much of her life after moving away from Arizona gravitating back and forth between London, Los Angeles, New York City, and Germany, finding homes in all those places but never truly settling down. Well O’Dell got back to where she once belonged, so to speak, when she moved back to her childhood home, and set up a life for herself there for nearly 20 years.
I prefer this book almost more than others from the same era because it is real. O'Dell has no reason to lie - she doesn't have a mythic persona or reputation to uphold, she's just a person who was lucky enough to experience all of these things and has no reason to lie or hold back on any account. This book is more relatable for a simple gal like me than say Wonderful Tonight or Faithfull, where even though the lifestyle and fame that Boyd and Faithfull achieved was unexpected by them when they first began their respective relationships with Harrison and Jagger, they garnered certain levels of fame and exposure in their careers prior to that. Chris O'Dell was a young girl (only 20 years old when her entire life changed) working in Los Angeles with no designs of fame and no reason to believe she would become intimately closer to rock stars than what her daydreams allowed.
Whereas Wonderful Tonight treated certain events (like excessive cocaine use and infidelity), as something best not relived in too much detail, Miss O'Dell gives equal treatment to every event in her life. The long-lasting pain of the George-Maureen-Ringo love triangle and the Eric-Pattie-George love triangle, (and also reveals the Maureen-Ringo-and herself triangle) are discussed and it is reveals that they merged together to create some sort of love ... rhombus, consisting of George, Maureen, Ringo, Pattie, Eric, and Chris herself. She writes of the moment in Ringo’s kitchen when in the middle of conversation with Mo and Pattie, George casually turned to Ringo and said, “You know, Ringo, I’m in love with your wife.” Ringo responded after a pause, “Better you than someone we don’t know.” After that admission, Starr took solace in Los Angeles with O’Dell for several months. A time later, Maureen confronted Chris about their affair and after she came clean (much to Ringo’s dismay) they managed to salvage their friendship and remained close until Maureen’s death in 1994.
Part of the book chronicles the demise of the Harrison marriage, as O’Dell was witness to Pattie’s affairs with Clapton and Ronnie Wood, and George’s affair with Mo Starkey and his rapidly changing mood swings (she writes of a joke that Pattie and her shared during that time that they didn’t know each day if George would have his hand in the prayer bag or the coke bag) and his deep preoccupation with religion and discovering purpose. Her chronicling of it is almost more in-depth than Boyd’s and Clapton’s combined as she was not as romantically entangled and was able to see all parties affected.
O'Dell also doesn't hold back about her drug usage and writes about it for what it was - addiction. She writes casually of snorting lines with George and Pattie at Friar Park in between billiard games, and remarks of her excitement when Keith Richards sent her from Dallas to LA to get some "really great" coke while on tour. Several times throughout her life, O’Dell worried that she was hitting rock bottom, but she found that once you hit the bottom there was always a trap door there waiting to take you lower. Substance abuse is a common thread throughout the book, both in the people she worked for and in her own life.
She gives equal treatment to characters in her life as well. Instead of indulging into salacious details of her romantic relationships with Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, Jim Gordon, Leon Russell, and Bob Dylan, she treats the bedroom happenings with a certain level of ambivalence, instead focusing on the backstage conversations she had with them. Also, she writes a lot about the people in her life that another person maybe wouldn't remember or give more than a few sentences about. She talks openly and unabashedly about the crushes she had on tours, and there is a darling scene between her and a young Cameron Crowe, whose wide-eyed innocence and honest love of music captured O'Dell's appreciation. She gives more treatment to her relationships with the wives of rock stars, with whom she was best friends with. She writes at length of the turmoil she was in when she thought that one of her actions would offend Pattie or Mo, as she knew that it took a lot for these women to trust people around them. A lot is written about her friendship with Pattie, and how with George she was welcomed as a member of the family but with Clapton she was treated as a competitor for Pattie’s attention and affection.
Miss O’Dell is a really remarkable book, one so interesting it’s almost hard to believe this all happened to a little girl from Tucson. It’s honest and real, the only thing we can ever really ask for in a memoir. She doesn’t sugarcoat, sensationalize, romanticize, or demonize (or any other –ize, for that matter) fame and fortune. She presents it for what it was in that moment in time. Miss O’Dell is the ultimate backstage pass into a world of rock and roll that most of us can only see in magazines and on vinyls.

Monday, November 23, 2009

actually, before i go...

I literally (in the Rachel Zoe sense of the word) just died laughing while watching this. We all knew that George Harrison was an awesome actor in "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" but check out this scene in the Rutles' "All You Need Is Cash." The scene is an obvious satire on the fall of Apple Corps nearly a decade earlier, George acting as a television reporter interviewing Rutles' press agent Eric Manchester (a play on Derek Taylor, portrayed by Michael Palin of Monty Python fame). Keep your eyes and ears open for all the Beatle-y allusions...

a wee bit early...

I will be out of town for the next few days (hopefully with internet access, but I'm not quite sure), so in case I don't get to post - happy thanksgiving to every and all!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

i smell sex and candy here

I hope enjoy this picture half as much as I do. John during "How I Won the War" is hands-down the sexiest thing ever.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

never had communism looked so sexy...

Here's the lovely Sharon Tate posing for the December 1967 issue of Esquire Magazine. Her film, Valley of the Dolls, had only just been released that same month on December 15th, 1967. It was not the first time that She had posed for Esquire, as she had posed for them a few years earlier when she was a model, and also appeared in the June issue earlier in 1967.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

the world is at your command

Here's a look at the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, which is about his early years in Liverpool, his aunt Mimi, mum Julia, and the band that would eventually become The Beatles. Usually I hate these kinds of movies (Backbeat, anyone?) but this one looks pretty decent. From the looks of the trailer, its pretty spot on (except for the chick who I assume is supposed to be Cynthia - all we see is 'John' nuzzling her neck and she's spazzing out about it. Our Hoylake gal would never do that). Anyone else excited for this movie?

those freaks was right when they said you was dead

Okay this freaked me the fuck out when I saw this. Look at Paul's feet in the first photo, and compare to the second photo. Haha all you Faul theorists! Our boy was wearing shoes for the first part of the photo shoot, but then obviously just wanted to walk barefoot on hot asphalt instead. Duh.

Friday, November 13, 2009

'cause you're working, building a mystery, holding on and holding it in

So my friend emailed this old WWII-era poster to me earlier today, with the subject line: "Do you think Hitler is the little spoon or the big spoon?" I honestly don't know what this poster is trying to prove. I'm familiar with this poster of pretty much the same theme, but what is this trying to get across to middle America? I can just imagine someone with a very authoritative James Earl Jones-type voice, announcing to 1940s women across America, "Ladies, instead of sleeping alone in your bed while your husband is across seas fighting Nazis, go out to your nearest bar/church/grocery store and invite the first fella you see to nude up with you for the evening. It's what your husband - and more importantly, it's what your country - wants of you."
Please, if anyone can enlighten me as to what this poster is about, I will owe you ten thousand scooby snacks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

there's a little bird that somebody sends down to the earth to live on the wind

When I was younger more naïve, I used to believe I was Ruby Tuesday from the eponymous Rolling Stones song. I don’t know why – after all, I was a teenager from the 21st century city, not a swingin’ sixties groupie who got busy one time with Keith Richards (no matter how much I wish my life was otherwise). Well, I guess if Anne Hathaway can believe that Blackbird is about her, than I can be forgiven for thinking Ruby Tuesday was about me.

She would never say where she came from

Yesterday don’t matter if its gone

That’s the only bit of the song I don’t really agree with. But then again, its so freaking gorgeous that I love it anyways. I understand the whole “you can never go home again” thing, so not talking about your past is not only the best solution, but the only solution. The lyric that follows, "yesterday don't matter if its gone," is the one that really has kept me from being Ruby Tuesday. I can't embrace it into my life, I can't make myself believe it. If I agreed with the sentiment that whatever happened in the past doesn't really count for anything, I wouldn't have a blog which celebrates decades past, now would I? Not only does the past matter to me, its everything to me. I am not a full-functioning 21st century gal - I need the past to give me a little help in my boring hum-drum life. Vintage Vogues and Sixties memoirs are my kind of heroin - daily doses of the retro help me to get by. I need my fix.

And now for your fix, here are some lovely ladies from the sixties:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

'tis then when the hurdy gurdy man comes singing songs of love

I love these trippy-dippy, hurdy-gurdy photos of Donovan. The girl on the right is Jenny Boyd (Pattie's sister), who Donovan was in love with for a time in the late 1960s. He wrote "Jennifer Juniper" for her, and she was one of the main reasons why he decided to join the Beatles in Rishikesh in 1968.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beatlesology, Part One

There are a lot of people who equate listening to The Beatles as some sort of religious experience. I am one of those people. I am the nerdy girl of my group of friends who can talk for hours about the significance of any of their songs, from "It Won't Be Long" to "The Inner Light." I owe those four lads from Liddypool - they helped me through my darkest days and kept me company during my happiest highs. I owe them a lot. In a way I worship them – in the complete textbook definition of the word, in that I pay adoring reverence and honor to them. I am a huge “fan” of theirs – the reverence extends far beyond owning/knowing the tune of every song in their catalogue, I love and appreciate those men not just as musicians but as men themselves.
For me – a convent girl, of sorts – I have been well-hearsed in Catholic faith since I was very young. My relationship with The Beatles is very much similar to that. Enlightenment (a word I'll use if I'm going to get really hokey about this now) comes to each of us through many different mediums – and maybe the Beatles are my medium. I don’t know. And maybe the Beatles are bigger than Jesus. I don’t know. But it seems to me that if John, Paul, George, and Ringo can help get you through the night, then it’s alright.
We all have something different – whether it’s Transcendental Meditation, Primal Scream Therapy, or the Fab Four – we all need something to get us through the day, otherwise what’s keeping us keepin’ on? This may seem like blasphemy to any of those actively in an organized religion – and believe me, I could never tell any of this to anyone in my family because they’d probably send someone to exorcise the shit out of me – but I’m really not intending it to be like that. I get that I’m really weird for feeling this way. I would never subscribe to a Beatles religion in hopes of achieving my “Inner Beatle” or anything like that, because I don’t believe that that’s what these guys and their music is about. But still, what I personally have with this band is pretty fucking special. They are my religion. Jimi Hendrix once said that “music is my religion.” Well Jimi (because I possess the ability to speak directly to celebrities beyond the grave, lucky me) that is true, because it’s not like I only listen to the Beatles. But I do believe that there is something more there with them. I have my rituals, my experiences with one band in particular that I’ve never had with another band before. Like the Holy Spirit visiting Mary at night, I often have dreams about the Beatles (unfortunately the spirit of George Harrison never pops into my bedroom to tell me I am carrying his child).
So against John Lennon’s warning, I do believe in Beatles. And I'm trying to believe in me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

so basically yoko and i are best friends now...

Check out the article recently posted on Yoko Ono's website, entitled "25 Things Even My Best Friends Didn't Know Until Now." Even though she's got a lot of slack over the years, but I think she's become one of the most ardent peace-lovers out there, and reading this article just puts a smile on my face. She talks a lot about her feet and her shoes - but really what woman doesn't? - and calls out all of her imperfections and insecurities. One of my favorites: "My head was unusually large for my small bod. So John called me a "Martian" ... I look to the sky and feel like my home is somewhere far away - so I thought I might really be a Martian - a result of cross-breeding thousands of years ago." Another one I thought was nice was "When I daydream, I go all the way to the end of the Earth, and come back. It's a nice exercise." It's nice to get glimpses of the real Yoko - the one apart from the edited histories created by the press and the ones created by herself. I for one love following her Twitter account - it's full of fun Yoko-isms, like "Give up meat one day and then two days maybe. It's a very, very intelligent idea" and "We know that our thinking and our actions, no matter how small they are, affect the whole world."
Click on these links and fall in love!

Friday, October 23, 2009

what i would give...

... to look like this. I've always thought Sienna was sensational - she has an expert sense of style that casual, girlie, floaty, but also mature, womanly, and fashion-saavy. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would never be a gorgeous size zero blonde with millions of designer clothing lines (including one I myself design !) giving me oodles of clothes. I was jealous, yes, but it was a jealousy I had learned to live with. It was like white noise, or the threat of the apocalypse -- it was a truth I just never really liked to think about. That didn't stop me from thinking about Sienna all together. She's still one of my favorite girls out there - a good actress and a great style icon, one who stands far above the cokeheads in leggings and jersey and the Disney princesses in their Ed Hardy and Juicy.
I died when I saw Sienna in the Twenty8Twelve lookbook - it makes me want to be a blonde with long fringe, with lithe limbs and a sensational wardrobe. Basically, it reignited my Sienna lust to the point of disrupting my behavior. All I have thought about for the last three days is that I don't just want to have bangs like her's, I need bangs like her's. It's like, essential for my survival.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

reflections on fame and infamy

When I was younger (i.e. roughly six months ago), I used to really want to be an actress. Not that I had an experience, mind you, apart from being a lead munchkin in our kindergarten production of “The Wizard of Oz” and acting out scenes from “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by myself in my bedroom when I was sixteen (I was a fierce Maggie, if I do say so myself). I was consumed by ideas of superstardom, imagining my handprints outside of Grauman’s and winning Oscars for my earth-shatteringly real performances as various wounded women. But I slowly realized that outside of memorizing all of Audrey’s or Marilyn’s lines in their films, I didn’t actually enjoy the idea of acting. Sure, being a fabulous call-girl or a fabulous gold-digger would be a sensational role in a movie that I would never turn down, but I realized that I would never want to put myself out there and do that whole audition process. I’m way too shy/self-conscious/scared shitless to ever do that to myself. The whole reason I actually wanted to be an actress was just so that I could be famous. I have an odd obsession with fame and infamy. I used to conduct interviews in my head when I was younger and still clouded with thoughts of superstardom, thinking up witty things to say to Dave and practicing my goofy jokes with Conan. I would be a delight onscreen, I really would. I would say profound things in interviews about how acting doesn’t save lives, but its all I know how to do (yadda, yadda, yadda), and would nerd out to Nylon and Interview about my obsessions over Pattie Boyd, Marianne Faithfull, my man Macca, the Manhattan Project, and early Russian silent films that are all really just Lenin-propaganda. I would insist that movies be called “pictures” and would opine about how the beauty of Hollywood and celebrity has all but disappeared. I would have a torrid love affair with a famous athlete/playwright/president (a la Marilyn) or a famous director who I would first have to break out of a Zurich prison. Really, all I wanted was an excuse to talk about myself and have people actually care enough to listen. So I guess that’s the reason why I even have Dolly Rocker Girl – I am incredibly self-consumed and addicted to what I have to say, no matter how trivial it is. If we’re speaking honestly, I think I am one of the coolest people I have ever met in my life. I’m sad that everyone out there who reads this blog hasn’t met me because you are a super-fantastic person as well and I think that we could become besties. We could take over the world with our intensely aware, pop culture-laden ways and become Gilmore Girls times a thousand (and minus one of us being the spawn of the other).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

oh, i believe in yesterday

Whenever my life is going good, bad, or ugly I like to do this completely nerdy and yet completely life-affirming thing where I put my iPod Nano on shuffle and click through until I reach a Beatles song. Whatever the song is, it is supposed to reveal something about myself at that specific point in time.

Last night after a particularly spectacular evening that included holding the hair of my roommate back for almost two hours while she tossed more than a few cookies while simultaneously trying to kick out all of the people she invited over, I settled in my too-small bed in my too-small apartment and clicked on my iPod. I went through about two-dozen songs until I reached a Beatles tune: “Yesterday.”

Paul weeps Yesterday/ all my troubles seemed so far away. How fucking true is it that I wish for how things used to be, how I long for two years ago, seven months ago, ten weeks ago, hell I’d even settle for thirteen days ago. I wish to go back before I “broke out” on my own, when I was a big fish in a little pond, when I was considered a great writer and there were people around who loved me. And I wonder to myself late at night ‘why did I have to go/ I don’t know.’

What’s sad is that when I was living it, I hated that time. I felt confined, bored, depressed, and limited by my surroundings. I hated the girl I was two years ago, seven months ago, ten weeks ago, even thirteen days ago. They’ve all been a slight variation of the girl I am right at this very moment, only she’s subtly changed her wardrobe to match the seasons and now has such strong color tint in her hair that when people don’t know who Jane Asher is, she feels like Bobo the Clown. It upsets me because in comparison to the right-now, the past is always better. There is a part of me that is like Paul McCartney and does believe in yesterday, but there is also another part of me that can’t. That’s the part that knows yesterday is only an illusion, a romanticized version of a reality that never really existed.

Friday, September 25, 2009

the first real step...

My first act in the Dolly Rocker Girl project is that I have made it my goal to finally learn how to play the guitar. No matter how swoon-worthy I think it is whenever a boy knows how to play guitar, I always thinks its so cool when girls can strum a tune. Think of all the girls out there who can play guitar - Marianne, Jane, Francoise, Mary - so many!
I've already made a list of songs I want to learn: Blackbird, Mother Nature's Son, I Will, Wild Horses, House of the Rising Sun (Marianne Faithfull version, natch), Goodbye, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Quite ambitious, I know, but I have faith that I am motivated and bored enough to actually go through with it this time.

Anyone out there have any suggestions for a guitar novice? I'm teaching myself, which may turn out to be a huge mistake, but I'm adamant in doing this.

Friday, September 18, 2009

if the sun refused to shine, i don't mind, i don't mind

Hey guys, its been a while (4 weeks! whoops) since my last post. During that time I've been trying to figure out what exactly the Dolly Rocker Girl Project will be. It's a bit ambitious an undertaking -- attempting to gain knowledge, insight, and beauty from my favorite icons and heroes -- but I want to do it. There are so many girls (and boys) like me out there who wish that they could be pouty and sexy like Brigitte but still kittenishly innocent a la Marilyn. I just need to figure out a way to branch out to them with my own experiences.
If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I don't want to just turn this blog into a boring update of my life, because believe me it would be boring.
In other news, I found two songs from Jimi Hendrix and Marianne Faithfull that I hadn't heard before on iTunes the other day. Jimi's song, "If 6 Was 9" was classic Experience acid-blues-rock song, but it had the eeriest lyrics in it. "I've got my own life to live/ I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die/ So let me live my life the way I want to." Marianne's song was "House of the Rising Sun." Completely gorgeous and haunting. It was one of her earlier song, released on her first album, but she has a sadness in her voice that reminds me of her by the end of the decade.
Hopefully you guys will check these songs out. Even if you've already had them for years, please comment whether you like them or if I have terrible taste in tunes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Dolly Rocker Girl Project

I started this blog as a way to branch out to people about my favorite films, music, people, clothing, characters, and books from decades past that I admire, but mostly so that I could write about the women that inspire me one way or another. I knew that there were people out there like me who loved these things, but it seemed like I couldn't ask a kid in the quad if she'd seen "The Thin Man" without her asking if I was talking about the anorexic wanna-be Dior model in AB Calculus. So I think I've found a pretty nice group of fellow bloggers who share my likes and dislikes, and they all seem to teach me something new whenever I read about them. This is both a blessing and a curse for me. It seems that most of what I write about is somewhat easily attainable elsewhere on the internet, so -- a crushing blow to my ego to admit it -- I am not unique in what I write. 
Recently I have acquired a new computer, which puts me in the position of either starting completely anew or having to perform the awful task of transferring my hundreds of old photographs from one computer to another. So, because I am a lazy person, I have decided to embrace the change. Instead of writing profiles about women I adore, I propose what could become something that could actually change my life: the Dolly Rocker Girl Project. 
I'm not exactly sure what it will entail, but I know what I want the end result to be: to come out at the end of this more like the women that I admire so much. If Julie Powell from Queens, New York, can become her own Julia Child, than with God as my witness I will become a mash-up of Brigitte, Pattie, Marianne, Jane, Anita and more! 

That doesn't sound too crazy, does it?

Friday, August 21, 2009

you say i'm crazy, i got your crazy

One of my favorite characters on television was Cassie Ainsworth, played by Hannah Murray on Skins. She was an anorexic kook with many issues, including drug abuse and suicidal tendencies. She reminds me a bit of Hamlet's Ophelia - a beautiful vulnerable blonde who, when faced with heartbreak, wants to drown themselves in the Thames. Well Cassie's version of drowning herself is with pills and alcohol, but still just as dramatic as Shakespeare.

Her fashion is so much fun - a mixture of glamorous pieces mixed in with cheap choices. She dresses sort of like a little girl in bobby socks, long skirts with crinoline, lace or silk blouses, mary janes, and sparkles and bows galore!

a bird of paradise, the sunrise in her eyes, god only knows such a sweet surprise

May Pang, John Lennon's girlfriend for several years during the mid-70s (the 'Lost Weekend'). During their time together, John repaired many of the fractured relationships in his life (like with Cyn and Julian Lennon, and the Beatles) and produced some of the best and most succesful music of his solo career. According to Lennon biographers, who point to his personal diaries for proof, Lennon wanted to be with Pang for most of the decade, even after the birth of his son Sean with Yoko. She was the inspiration for the song "Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox)" on Lennon's Walls and Bridges album.

Monday, July 27, 2009

blonde redhead

So I've been contemplating a rather big change in my life for the last few months: whether or not I should change my hair color. A blonde from birth (and now with the assistance of peroxide) I've always had long, bright blonde hair. People expect you to act a certain way when you're blonde: either a ditz, harlot, innocent girl-child, or frigid ice-queen. I have come to the conclusion that I want to be a redhead. Not just that, I want that powerful bright Jane Asher red that people can see from a mile away. 
I have always envied the Lindsay Lohans of the world who were born with red hair, and I never understood why they would want to change that gorgeous color to bland blond. Some of the most powerful women throughout history have been gingers. Queen Elizabeth was a red head. So was Ginger Spice (aka Geri Halliwell). Red hair evokes the feelings of power, action, and fiery tempers. They go out and do what they want, follow what they believe, and don't take no from anybody. So tonight, I want to be a redhead. Now I just have to conjure up my inner ginger girl and actually do it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Day in the Life (Paul's "Oh Shit" Version)

Here is an early studio take of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life." Notable because it lacks the orchestral score and infamous alarm clock noise between John's first verses and Paul's bit. Also, it is a rare glimpse at the vocals not yet being perfected on the track. Paul toys around with how he sings "found a coat and grabbed my hat" and fudges the lyric "somebody spoke and I went into a dream" by singing "everybody spoke and I went into a dream... oh shit." Its quite funny to hear him make a mistake while singing, but all the while quite cute. 
The video is set to behind-the-scenes footage of a recording session for the song, attended by Pattie Boyd, Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Donovan, the Monkees, and many others. The session turned into a party of sorts, with the Beatles and all their famous friends running around the studio causing mischief. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

penny lane is in my ears and in my eyes

As with most every girl, one of my personal heroes is Miss Penny Lane, Kate Hudson's character in the flick Almost Famous. The original Band-Aide, there to inspire the music and support the band, Penny Lane has the qualities that seem requisites of a true rock muse. She is equal parts goofy, romantic, innocent, and knowing; a girl who will dance barefoot on an auditorium's stage or sing along to "Tiny Dancer" on a tour bus; she has that certain twinkle in her eyes, one that makes every man want to right their own Layla for her.
But aside from that, Penny is still a lost little girl. Underneath her curly hair and shearling coats, she is still that vulnerable Lady Goodman, someone who will be driven to Quaaludes if the guitarist with mystique turns her down.
Truth be told, I aspire to be Penny Lane. I will spend a year living in Morocco with an entirely different name and be an entirely different person. I will befriend David Bowie and his bodyguard Dennis, swoon over my own Russell Hammond, and make friends with only musicians because, truth be told, famous people just are more interesting. And when these dreams become a reality, I will turn to my fellow Band-Aides and say in awe, "it's all happening."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

i don’t know just where i’m going, but i’m gonna try for the kingdom if i can

Allen Klein, former music manager of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, the Animals, the Kinks, Bobby Darin, and tons more, died Saturday at the age of 77. He was known for his blunt and rather tenacious business style and the large fallouts he had with the majority of his famous clients, most of them ending in lengthy legal battles. He famously said in defense of his abrasive style of negotiating, “The music business is about 99 percent no-talent losers who can’t stand a winner in their midst.”
Allen Klein was the son of Jewish Hungarian immigrants who founded the label ABKCO Music & Records in the 1950s, a label that holds the copyrights to many famous groups from the sixties and seventies – including the Rolling Stones, Phil Spector, Bobby Womack, and hundreds more. Klein gained infamy when he was cited in the eventual breakup of the Beatles after John Lennon persuaded George Harrison and Ringo Starr to appoint Klein their business manager after Brian Epstein’s death. Paul McCartney resisted the change, feeling that Klein could not be trusted. Eventually that turned out to be true – Klein was ultimately unable to save the Beatles’ many umbrella projects under Apple Corps, including Zapple Records, and lost the rights to Northern Songs from a buyout by ATV, a loss that took away ownership rights and copyrights to nearly the band’s entire catalogue.
During the early '70s he was an aide to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, he was hired because "a real shark - someone to keep the other sharks away." The relationship was one that eventually cooled, and Klein was personified in Lennon's song "Steel and Glass," with lyrics like: Your phone don't ring, no one answers your call/How does it feel to be off the wall/Well your mouthpiece squawks as he spreads your lies/But you can't pull strings if your hands are tied.
He was also remembered for his tumultuous relationship with George Harrison, namely his role in the “My Sweet Lord”-“He’s So Fine” controversy during the seventies. Initially Klein was a friend to Harrison, helping him to organize the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh and offering support and legal advice to him during the initial stages of the “My Sweet Lord”-“He’s So Fine” lawsuit. Eventually, Klein betrayed Harrison by purchasing the 1963 song “He’s So Fine” and becoming his legal opponent. Ultimately, a judge ruled that Klein’s switching sides was unfair and advised Harrison to pay Klein $587,000 so that Klein would gain nothing from the suit.
Klein’s death on July 4th after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease brings to an end a lengthy and controversial career.

and hour on hour i watched in awe, no human being could match the draw of ringo

Today is Ringo Starr's 69th birthday. I'm guessing that he won't be going back on Larry King Live this year, considering how things went down on his 68th (in case you didn't see it -- Ringo got pretty mad at Larry, who said Ringo's age, 68, over a dozen times during the few minute interview, but Ringo was funny and called Larry 102 yrs. old, which in all honesty seems a possibility), but I do hope Rings keeps the message of peace and love through this birthday celebration. I haven't followed his recent career as much, but I genuinely like sixties Ringo. He seemed sad-eyed, goofy, laid-back, and fun.... He also had amazing rings (naturally) and enviable dance moves (just rent A Hard Day's Night if you need proof).

Monday, July 6, 2009

go and beat your crazy head against the sky, try and see beyond the houses and your eyes, its okay to shoot the moon

Mary Hopkin was/is/probably always will be frighteningly adorable to me. I liked her from the start after I saw a photo of her holding a guitar over her shoulder and walking across an open field. I don't know what about that photo I liked so much -- without knowing anything about her at all, I still would admire her for her folky carefree demeanor and innocent look. Also I really liked her hair, so that probably had something to do with it. Then I actually learned about her. If you can honestly say that when you were 17 or 18 years old, you had several number one singles and could call Paul McCartney, Twiggy, Donovan, and George Harrison among your nearest and dearest, then you deserve some real respect.
This Welsh folk-pop singer (born in Wales in 1950) rose to fame in the late sixties as one of the first artists to be signed to the Beatles' Apple Records. She was 'discovered' in 1968 after Twiggy caught a performance of Hopkin's on a local TV show (prophetically called "Opportunity Knocks") and immediately called Paul McCartney to check her out. After signing with Apple, her first single "Those Were the Days" was released to great success in August 1968, becoming a worldwide hit (Disclaimer: this song is a very guilty pleasure of mine. I listen to it rather obsessively). Both the single, and her accompanying album "Postcard" were produced by Paul McCartney. Also aiding in her debut effort were Beatles producer George Martin, and singer-songwriters Harry Nilsson and Donovan. Other successful singles were "Goodbye" (written by McCartney, and only kept off the top spot in the UK by another McCartney song "Get Back"), "Temma Harbour," "Qué Sera, Sera" and "Knock, Kock, Who's There?" which Hopkin performed at the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest as a representative of the UK.
After the Beatles disbanded, Paul McCartney sought a solo career and was no longer in the position as Hopkin's mentor and aide at Apple. Instead, Apple promoted Hopkin as a squeaky-clean folkish singer somewhat akin to a schoolgirl, much to Hopkin's annoyance. She grew increasingly disenchanted with the sugary pop world in which she had become associated with, and weary of the music business in general. Her second album, "Earth Song, Ocean Song" (released in late 1971) was in the style of music that she wanted to perform, but Apple didn't agree. Though it is said this album is one of Mary Hopkin's personal favorites of the work she's produced, she largely had to produce the album herself. Mary Hopkin ended up leaving Apple after completing two albums and one best-of release, and married producer Tony Visconti in 1971. She retreated from the music industry after that, instead concentrating on a family. Her unexpected retirement of sorts confused many in the music industry at the time, because Hopkin was at a high point in her career. She had a son Delaney in 1972 and a daughter Jessica in 1976. She continued recording on a more low-key basis throughout the seventies, appearing on many of her husband's productions as Mary Visconti (including tracks for Tom Paxton, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, and many others) and participating in music festivals and concerts occasionally. She released a new album in 1976 under her own name, releasing as her first single a cover of the Edith Piaf recording "If You Love Me (I Won't Care)." This album marked the first time where the majority of the material on the album was composed by Hopkin herself. She has since regularly released albums over the last several decades, and even opened her own label Mary Hopkin Music. Despite her many albums and appearances since her impromptu 'retirement' in the early seventies, Hopkin says that with each new album she never aspires to make a comeback as a singer. She is happy enough by making music when she wants to, and travelling to different countries infitting with her admittedly nomadic lifestyle.

A big special thank-you to Pat at the Mary Hopkin News Page for so many wonderful photos!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

i don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love

Someone had said this of a post a few days ago on Keith Richard's style that they loved the "who the fuck is Mick Jagger?" tee shirt. Well, I too loved it because it is so Keith. I must admit that Mr. Richards must be in possession of the best tee shirts ever made. They are usually a little bit loud, a little bit (socially) inappropriate, and always really great. Well, I did some digging around and I found an exact copy of Keef's tee, which originated from the 1975 Rolling Stones tour of the Americas. There are a lot of imitations out there of this infamous shirt, but this is the closest I've found to the actual version. It even has a sort of faded look to the writing, so you could feasibly pass it off as a vintage original. For a cool $45, you can score this shirt for yourself. It's a little steep for just a tee shirt, but think of it as an investment in your love of the Keef; after all, you can't put a price on love.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

so sad, so sad

This week has not been too kind at all -- first Ed McMahon, then Farrah Fawcett, then Michael Jackson, and now we have learned that Karl Malden passed away today. At 97 years old, Karl was a legendary actor whose career spanned over seven decades. He often collaborated with Marlon Brando and director Elia Kazan in film and stage, his two best known screen roles were in A Streetcar Named Desire as Mitch, Stanley's friend who is interested in Blanche but is an ardent mama's boy (for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1951), and On the Waterfront as Father Barry, a man who believes works to stop the control the mob has over the docks. His most notable film appearances also include: One-Eyed Jacks (his third and last Brando collaboration); Baby Doll as Archie Lee Meighan, the frustrated husband of a sexually withholding teenage Carroll Baker; Gypsy; The Cincinnati Kid; How the West Was Won; and Patton. He also starred as a cop alongside Michael Douglas in the 1970s crime series The Streets of San Francisco.
Rest in peace, Karl. You will be sorely missed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

i saw a film today, oh boy, the english army had just won the war

"Can I rub your ball, sir? It gives me great pleasure." Hmm... alrighty then, John. During the fall of 1966 before the Beatles started the Sgt. Pepper recording sessions, John Lennon flew to Spain to take part in director Richard Lester's newest film, How I Won the War. Lester, who had directed the Beatles in A Hard Day's Night and Help!, recruited John for this anti-war satire aimed at criticizing Vietnam and war itself. Lennon was cast as the kleptomaniac fascist Private Gripweed, a soldier under command of the clueless Lieutenant Goodbody (Michael Crawford, also a frequent collaborator of Lester in The Knack...and How to Get it, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) during WWII. The task for the inexperienced troop is simple -- build a cricket pitch behind enemy lines in North Africa for the future troops arriving there. Its Lester's take on the film that is a little less so. In Lester's world, after one of the characters is killed, they never really die -- they still talk and most all of them still follow the other soldiers on their mission, the only difference is that they become a different color (pink, green, orange, blue...), which admittedly makes certain characters' deaths easier to take. There are other oddities in the film -- a cricket game with Hitler (where John's 'can I rub your ball' line comes in -- he's talking about a cricket ball, you dirty people!), a soldier who tries the entire film to seem mad and is finally dubbed insane after quoting Churchill, and tons of Lester's trademark absurd Monty Python-esque humor.
For any Lester film that I have seen -- and even most anti-war films that I've seen -- this film is comparably darker, angrier, and more critical than the others. In this film, Lester stresses the point that no good can come from war as it destroys everyone and everything involved. While Goodbody's troop seems to try to kill him off the entire film, Goodbody inadvertently causes most his troop to gradually die off. Lester's criticism of war is biting and very haunting. After Gripweed dies, he looks directly into the camera and says eerily prophetically, "I knew this would happen. You knew it would happen, didn't you?" After I saw that scene, I cried for like an hour.
Even still, this point in Lennon's life is where I crush on him the most. He cut his hair in the Army-regulated cut and started wearing his soon-to-be-trademark granny glasses for the first time. And really who can resist seeing Lennon in army fatigues and a wife beater? I love seeing photos from the set because even though the film is darkly depressing, everyone seemed to be so happy behind the scenes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

i’m drifting in and out of dreamless sleep, throwing all my memories in a ditch so deep

Edge of Love has to be one of my favorite films that I've never seen. Starring two of the most fashionable girls around today (Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller), I fell in love with the film's English countryside wardrobe -- all those worn cardigans, rubber boots, and washed out florals looked so dreamy and wonderful to me. Unfortunately, I really didn't know anything about the film itself for a long time, except that Lindsay Lohan was supposed to do Sienna's part but then she crashed her car and got arrested, so she was otherwise busy.
The film is set in World War II (hence the retro hairstyles) and centers around Vera Phillips (Keira), who one day meets her former love Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, and finds that there are still feelings there between them, despite the fact that he is married to Caitlin MacNamara (Sienna), a free-spirited dancer. At first, there is a rivalry between the two women, but soon they grow to be good friends and together with Dylan, they live happily. When Vera marries William Killick, a soldier about to be deployed abroad, Dylan becomes openly jealous of the new addition to the group, something that Caitlin takes notice of. After William is deployed, the trio moves to the Welsh countryside where Vera's feelings for Dylan grow. After Willian returns home with war trauma, teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown, to find his wife in an uncomfortably close relationship with Dylan, it is safe to say that he was less than pleased. What happened next was a night infamous in the literary world.
Reviews for the film were mixed -- some said that it was brilliant, others criticized the movie's less-than-accurate depiction of the events. In all honesty, I don't really care if the film is enlightening or terrible-- at least they look cute in it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

incense and peppermints, meaningless nouns, turn on, turn in, turn your eyes around

Starting last year, my school made us have those pesky meetings with guidance counselors to discuss our goals, dreams, and futures. Well, I generally lack any realistic ambitions -- being the gypsy princess of Monaco and wife to Paul McCartney doesn't seem like the safest set path for my future -- but that didn't really phase me when I was going in to meet with them. To be honest, I had no real goals, dreams, or tentative futures that didn't involve being transported back a few decades in a time machine. I was fairly certain I didn't want to go to college, but that was never an option, especially for the mildly crazy like I. You see, I don't think about things in terms of how plausible it is or what will be best for me in reality -- to quote Blanche DuBois, "I don't want realism, I want magic!" Well, they were all well and horrified enough after just a few questions, but then the pièce de résistance when they asked me who were figures in history that I most admired. I answered truthfully -- that my personal heroes changed from time to time, but at the moment they were: Abraham Lincoln, Ice-T, and Keith Richards.
I wasn't trying to be cool or anything, because I pretty much fail at being cool/hip/with it all of the time. I was just saying the people that I truthfully thought were admirable in their careers. Well, I got lucky for starting with Abe Lincoln -- apparently he was a pretty common answer, so they didn't make me explain too much why I admired him. I said that I had a historical crush on him, not just because of his politics and rhetoric (yes, rhetoric can be sexy) but also because I thought he was handsome. Probably not the best thing to reveal that you're crushing on a man that died 1.25 centuries before you were born, but I sometimes (always) say really dumb things. Ice-T was harder to explain -- its difficult to discuss the merits of gangsta rap with a bunch of counselors. It's like trying to explain to Rush Limbaugh why abortion was a really awesome idea, I would get nowhere except possibly smacked in the mouth. But then I told them that he was the guy on Law and Order SVU, which they accepted as a suitable reason.
Keith Richards was even harder to explain to them -- the counselor even asked, "now how on earth could admire this man?" I suppose that they had this image of me, the failed product of the parochial school system, in my plaid uniform and saddle shoes laying down to worship at the feet of the dark lord of rock and roll to offer myself as his sacrificial virgin. He would be sitting on gold throne in a cloud of cigarette smoke and drenched in Jack Daniels, and decide that I was fit to be his consort. Immediately, he would shoot me up with heroin and cocaine, and I would start having lots of sex. Actually, that doesn't sound too bad a fate for me. But anyway.... I told them that Keith has been at the top of his profession for skill and originality for years, very much admired not only for his music, but also because he fought against his demons, winning the battle with drug addiction. And then I asked why they didn't like him -- was it because they didn't like his music, or because they were holding his prior problems (i.e. possibly snorting his dad, et al) against him. And then I said that a certain higher power wouldn't like that, because can't a man redeem himself? Isn't that what's it all about in the end?

I think Keith is fantastic. He probably has the best wardrobe of any rock star. With a penchant for skull rings, scarves, black leather pants, scruffed up boots, leopard print, and really great tee shirts -- he's like a pirate-cowboy-rocker-gypsy God. And I would gladly lay myself down at the feet of his throne, if he'll have me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

weddings, parties, anything

Marilyn Monroe, circa 1957

Grace Kelly in 1955 at a Hollywood dinner

Sylvie Vartan, greeting the Beatles in Paris, 1964

Rock Hudson and his new bride Phyllis Gates,
following their wedding in 1955

Mia Farrow dancing up a storm with Ringo Starr
at the Dorchester in 1968

Julie Christie, Ursula Andress, and Catherine Deneuve
before formally meeting Princess Margaret

James Dean and Ursula Andress on a date in Hollywood, 1955

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin at the Cannes Festival

Twiggy at Disneyland in 1967

Mia Farrow, Roman Polanski, and Sharon Tate
at the premiere of "Rosemary's Baby"

Grace Kelly on a publicity date in the 1950s

Jean Shrimpton and Terence Stamp out on the town in
New York in 1964

Brigitte Bardot meeting Paul Newman in the 1960s

Marilyn Monroe at a Hollywood function in 1961

The Rolling Stones in London, 1967