Saturday, 13 March 2010



PT Barnum said...

All I needed was to see the song title and I now have the tune stuck in my head. I'm trying to overwrite the autoplay with One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer....

call me ishmael said...

I think, mr ptb, the tune is in everyone's head, shave and a haircut, two bits; Bo Diddley buy baby diamond ring etc etc.

woman on a raft said...

The cover picture confirms that blokes should never give in to an urge to wear a girlie scarf. At best it will look like faulty re-assignment surgery, at worst like a pimp who wishes he was in Noo Orleans but is stranded in Warrington.

Not even Jagger managed to do it without looking a twit, and he's got enough clothes-horse DNA to have sold Bri-nylon* pants in the Grattan catalogue.

*Wiki says the archaic term is a portmanteau word used to denote Bri(tish) Ny(lon) which is daft since Nylon itself denotes "New York" and "LONdon" where it was supposed to have been simultaneously born.

"And when he wears his frilly nylon panties right up tight..."

call me ishmael said...

A dedicated follower of fashion, then, also, Mrs WOAR, as well as being our resident legal eagle.

Johnny Otis and The Johnny Otis Show, of course, originated Willie and the Hand Jive, Crazy Country Hop and a feast of other lesser-known boogie-shuffles which permeate and season rock 'n' roll. Some of them are, thankfully, on YouTube, together with the sponsorship clips which funded the shows. Buy your used Lincoln from me. I used the Thorogood version because Johnny's is badly synced and the better-known Clapton rendition is, in my humble opinion, shit, like so much of his ouvre; still, must really give him the blues, Eric, his last Ferrari was six months late being delivered and he has to spend a lot of his time being photographed for the Rolex adverts in Time magazine, kinda like an old-age pensioner David Beckham.

I Wish I was in Noo Awleens is the very best of Tom Waits, by the way, just between you and I. Downhill all the way from there, I thought, to superstardom and global celebrity.

woman on a raft said...

I do appreciate you choosing the music. In our neck of the woods there just was not the money to do music and fashion, so we chose fashion. To dad it was important to be seen with a transistor radio in a real imitations leatherette carry case but the logical thing to do would have been to buy the case and just put in a cardboard dummy radio which would have had all visual effect but without the danger of choking marauding goats.

Dad owned two scarves - I still have one - but he was very careful that they were balanced manly scarves in the mode of the 1940s. A large maroon silk square, heavy, made for tucking in to the neck of an evening coat, and a lighter paisley long scarf in one of the up and coming synthetic silks. It was somehow too yellow, too crispy to sit properly and wound up in the dressing-up box.

We embraced synthetics, particularly Crimplene (tm) which can be spun in to an astounding range of textures and takes colour as pure as if it came off a Pantone colour card, which it probably did. Only silk transcends that ability to take a deep, precise colour. It washes well even in cool water with just a dab of detergent and dries quickly. Unfortunately, it is hard to stabilize and tends to pull, pill and stretch in wear, and has to be added to other fibers or it forgets to spring back. It is inclined to stain and there is the inevitable problem of sweat and static.

However, if you want to make a good-looking suit for Everyman and Everywoman, these are the fabrics which will do a fair impersonation of what you see on the cinema screen, at working-man cost and able to be laundered with a washbowl and line.

I won't pretend these fabrics will last for long compared to a traditional tailoring, but then tailoring costs as much as armour and for the same reason; it's bespoke, complex and heuristic.

Synthetics, for all their drawbacks, are democratic and optimistic. The stretch allows for cut to be standardized so everybody can have a pair or jazzy stirrup pants, or maybe several in toning colours.

There has never been a more elegant Monroe than when she was wearing her capri pants, sneakers and poloneck jumper, trying to be the serious actress she might have stood a chance of becoming if mental illness and the Kennedys and the drugs hadn't robbed her of her remaining wits.

The book is not a mere prop in all of the linked photos - it's a compilation which could usefully be displayed in some of our schools and maternity clinics.

call me ishmael said...

I had a Perdio red leatherette transistor radio and they were the dog's bollocks; I should not, therefore, berate the young for being seemingly welded to electronic devices which hinder rather than enhance communication and intelligence. But I do anyway.