Thursday, 31 March 2011


This is actually a true news item.
Forget Japan, Libya and global catastrophe;
"look! there's a house that looks like Hitler!"

'Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Bathroom? The Swansea semi which, in a curious way, looks like the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler'-The Daily Mail

Hitler house headlines


Recorded at electric lady studios NY produced by Edwin Birdsong released on Philadelphia International records, distributed by CBS. Weighing in at 10:43 this 33 1/3 RPM 12” single came out in 1979 and is a little heard yet explosive example of the Club scene that was rising out of the discothèques.

This disc bore the legend ‘Disco (cue grooved)’ meaning that it was cut to accommodate DJ’s when cueing their records. It’s not a ‘song’ but what it does is give a relentless groove on which to utilise the technical aspects of the club DJ. In that it’s almost a template.

The pace of this obscure record was perfect for a dance floor full of people cutting a rug.

7" version

Wednesday, 30 March 2011


"They're not gonna release the album... because they have decided that the cover is sexist." "Well, so what? What's wrong with bein' sexy? I mean..." "Sex-IST!"
Not only is This is Spinal Tap a perfect parody of the overblown world of Rock, brilliantly executed, but the albums released on the fictional Polymer records by the band are perfectly realised parodies of all those bombastic and pseudo meaningful album covers of the time. From Genesis to Iron Maiden and from Led Zeppelin to those awful US hair metal bands these covers are as inane, sexist and big headed as the real thing.
none more black

Tuesday, 29 March 2011



Jonathon Ross, Tony Parsons, Jack Dee, Gary & Martin Kemp, Nick Hornby, Robert Elms, John Lydon, Jazzie B. Among others this lot are my peer group; that is to say that they all were around and made inroads during the halcyon days of late 70s & early 80s and they are still around having aged as I have. They remind me of the stream of creativity that was abundant in London back then and they have proved to have lasted the test (each in their own ways). I've seen all of them at the beginning and I'm glad to report they remain in good health. In one way or another they all played parts in my life back in those days, some personally and  others through influence and ideas as well as just entertainment. Many others have passed on but now that I myself am cracking on in years I see that staying power is a really good thing.

 to be young

Monday, 28 March 2011

MY HIT LIST # 61 Reggie Hammond takes on Torchy's bar

Reggie: Man, you loaded here. What the f*ck's this?
Redneck: Tax refund!
Reggie: Bullshit! You're too f*ckin' stupid to have a job

Redneck: What kind of cop are you?
Reggie: You know what I am? I'm your worst f*ckin' nightmare, man. I'm a ni**er with a badge which means I got permission to kick your f*ckin' ass whenever I feel like it!

Eddie Murphy is known for his family films and low brow comedies, however there was a time when Murphy was an explosive presence both in film and on stage. I have covered his stand up triumphs in a previous post. His arrival on the big screen was one of the great debuts. 48 Hours was followed by Trading Places and Beverley Hills Cop and Murphy’s status as the world’s number one box office star was cemented.

It is, though, 48 hours where Murphy sets his stamp. the movie is efficiently directed by the under rated Walter Hill and Nick Nolte is a great foil for Murphy. Yes it's the odd couple Cop cliche but handled with panache. The scene in the redneck bar is a bravura showcase of his talents.
Jack: Class isn't something you buy. Look at you, you've got on a 500-dollar suit and you're still a low-life.
Reggie: Yeah, but I look good.

Sunday, 27 March 2011



The Buddie Cop movie is something of a sub genre and was at it's peak in the Eighties. Slick pairings, violence, slo-mo, bombast, humour, guns, car chases, grudging admiration, Police Captains shouting and banter characterised these movies.

The precursor to this type of movie was 1974's Freebie and the Bean, starring Alan Arkin and James Caan; this featured all the moments that would become staples of the genre.
freebie and the bean-"your'e not fit to guard the fish at the Aquarium"

The last of the great buddy cop movies was Bad Boys (and to a lesser extent Bad Boys II). Now these films are not gritty cop pairings like The French Cconnection or Harry Callaghan with his various partners.

Bad boys-"Just do what you do...only faster"

They do exactly what it says on the tin.
Perhaps the ultimate film of it's type is Lethal Weapon, the chemistry is evident and it has a finesse that stands up well. Under appreciated is Tony Scott's The Last boy scout, which is a great vehicle for Willis' laconic charm (although strictly speaking they are not both Cops).

Last Boy scout-"you touch me again I'll kill you"

The Genre attracted some of the most stylish and effective directors; John McTiernan, Walter Hill, Katherine Bigelow,Richard Donner and Tony Scott. It also allowed some top Hollywood stars to flex their action muscles; James Woods, Billy Crystal, Michael J Fox, Richard Dreyfus and Willem Defoe among others.

Lethal weapon-"what are you, crazy?"

Hot Fuzz pays tribute to these movies, which are easy to lampoon and have been to little comedic effect, but they were enjoyable examples of taking a concept and making variations that entertained.

Hot Fuzz-"have you ever fired two guns while jumping through the air?"

I  would say that there were more enjoyable movies than bad ones amongst these buddy cop concoctions and those good ones were a lot of fun.

The Hard way -"it's my life"

Saturday, 26 March 2011


Eddie sees himself as a criminal mastermind; somewhere between genial Harry Grout of Porridge and Noel Coward in the Italian job. His wife Dolly is a shop lifter and his daughter Norma dosses around sponging of her good for nothing Brother Ginger.

The cast consists of alumni from other popular British comedy fare.  Peter Jones star of Ealing movies, Prunella Scales whose portrayal of Cybil Fawlty is legendary, Ian Lavender from Dad’s Army and, Carol Hawkins from Please Sir.

It ran for three years and felt like it was connected to Porridge; don’t really know why but it did. Eddie spent each week bungling his ill conceived plans for the big job. His family generally adding to his own ineptitude.

It pre dated the wheeler dealing of Only Fools and horses and the inept Ginger was a pre Rodney Trotter/Frank Spencer amalgam.

The show is nowhere to be found and has never been repeated therefore it’s hard to have a fresh take by re viewing. However it’s available on this link

I remember it as a funny and comic/tragic show with a good cast and tidy storytelling. A show that, given time to grow could have been a contender

Heres the episodes

The Big Job (21 May 74)
Series 1
The Bank Job (7 Jan 77)
Three Nights at the Palace (14 Jan 77)
Going Straight (21 Jan 77)
The Hit Man (28 Jan 77)
The Gravy Train (4 Feb 77)
The Ashes (11 Feb 77)

Series 2
The Prune Case (23 Jun 77)
Burgle My Neighbour (30 Jun 77)
The Sheiks (7 Jul 77)
The Great Betting Shop Swindle (14 Jul 77)
Easy Money (21 Jul 77)
The Squatters (28 Jul 77)
Vote for Roxburgh (4 Aug 77)

Friday, 25 March 2011



If I hear one more person say that they are ‘passionate’ about cooking, running a business, singing, acting, hairdressing, clothes shopping and any other
Activity that is perceived as tough for a lay person to do, I think I will be forced to lob a brick at them/the screen/radio.

These pronouncements are generally a case of a mentor slash guru telling a member of the public or an apprentice how they need to approach their given task; with passion.

Even normal types are getting in on the act with advertising campaigns proclaiming that they are passionate about the product or service they offer; be it tiling or refuse collection.

It seems to be the buzz word for saying that you like doing something. Why not just say that, rather than “I’m really passionate about baking”?

The problem with every Tom Dick and Harry banging on about how passionate they are about any given subject is that it devalues the term. These exclamations are generally associated with what the supposed expert does for a living and therefore they are overstating things. Ones passions are generally not associated with the work place but are reserved for people that you care about pursuits that give you pleasure and beliefs of differing kinds.

I guess it started with Gordon Ramsey, whose blunderbuss style seems suddenly old hat, trying to get mere cooks to create Michelin rated fare in their greasy spoons.

Please stop talking about being passionate everyone, less hyperbole would help us all be less shallow.

Life through a lense #18 Musee d'Orsay

Paris 2005-Anastasia Tompkins

The view through the clock at the Musee d'Orsay a wonderful place to visit in Paris with a remarkable view acros the river. When visiting stop and enjoy a cofee from the adjacent cafe while enjoying the view.I did on a clear day; tres bien!

 Paris 2009-Timo Elliott

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Shirley Eaton Golden Girl

 The lovely Shirley Eaton was born on 12 /01/37 in Edgware. Throughout her career, she appeared with many of the top British male comedy stars from the period including Jimmy Edwards, Max Bygraves, Bob Monkhouse and Arthur Askey. Her female co-stars included Peggy Mount, Thora Hird and Dora Bryan among others. Her early roles include Three Men In A Boat (1956) and Date with Disaster (1957), in which she co-starred with Tom Drake. She also worked with The Crazy Gang in Life Is a Circus (1958) and with Mickey Spillane in The Girl Hunters (1963) in which Spillane played his own literary creation Mike Hammer.
She appeared in several early Carry On films., and rarely appeared on television; an exception was her appearances in three episodes of The Saint, starring Roger Moore.
Although not known as a singer, Eaton took part in the British heat of the 1957 Eurovision Song Contest.
Eaton’s  most recognised and iconic role was  as Jill Masterson in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, gaining more recognition than actress Honor Blackman who played leading Bond Girl Pussy Galore. She appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in her gold-painted persona. After Goldfinger, Eaton made only a few more films, including The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1969), before her retirement.

Eaton retired from acting to raise her family and later commented in an interview with journalist James Davies on 18 June 2008, "The most important thing for me was being a woman and having a family more than being a very famous glamorous actress."
Jill Masterson
Selected filography
The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968) as Black Widow
Around the World Under the Sea (1966/I) as Dr. Margaret E. 'Maggie' Hanford
Goldfinger (1964) as Jill Masterson
Rhino! (1964) as Miss Arleigh
Dentist on the Job (1961) as Jill Venner
Carry on Constable (1960) as Sally Barry
Carry on Nurse (1959) as Staff Nurse Dorothy Denton
Carry on Sergeant (1958) as Mary Sage
The Naked Truth (1957) as Melissa Right
Doctor at Large (1957) as Nan
Three Men in a Boat (1956) as Sophie Clutterbuck
Sailor Beware! (1956) as Shirley Hornett
Charley Moon (1956) as Angel Dream
The Belles of St Trinian's (1954) (uncredited) as Sixth Former
Doctor in the House (1954) as Milly Groaker

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Queen Elizabeth

a place in the sun
Goodbye to the Queen of Hollywood
Elizabeth Taylor



I have, this evening gone boldly to somewhere I have never been before;
to see Su-Man Hsu. She is a body therapist, to the stars no less, and I was granted the pleasure (courtesy of a kind birthday gift) of experiencing a 75 minute facial/body session. I came out floating and looking ten years younger. No, seriously.
It was that good.

The welcome warm yet professional. The environment perfect. The ambience spot on.

In her haven in North London you undergo various facial and upper body treatments with massage manipulation and a smorgasbord of lotions and unguents. You also get a foot massage that helps unblock the tensions and stresses. Yes there is pain involved, most of which was during the ‘extraction’ process (out blackheads out) but it’s entirely manageable. As you ease into the feeling of loosening up you can virtually feel your boat race being excised and replenished.

When I looked in the mirror at the end of the treatment the young prince I saw starring back took me aback. “This woman must have some kind of magic powers or something” I though for a moment.
No magic, just a knowledge and understanding that she applies brilliantly.

I left feeling rejuvenated and a little bit special to be honest.

The idea of dedicating this amount of time on ones self was a hard thing to allow myself to do, but thankfully I did. Like many a bloke of my age and background I was unused to this pampering lark but now I’m converted and let’s face it, at my age I need all the help I can get.