Picasso’s Last Words

If you can whistle that tune 10 points,

If you’re at a loss then shame on you. Unless you’ve the misfortune to be born within the last fifteen years. In which case what are you doing here at YoYo-Dyne?
Piss off ‘ya little phuckers and write your note to your shaved Bieber.

Band On the Run was one of the first LP’s I purchased. The day it was released. Already had Abby Road, Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison, and at least twenty 45’s. This was 1973, Making me 3 years old at time. Okay, may have been 12.
Life already consisted of nothing but music and film. An obsession with silent movies and a physical yearning and love for making music.

Being overweight, an A student and incredible spaz helped more than you can imagine. Oh, I had a bicycle. I could ride for miles. And I did. To see movies.

It took me at least a year to separate the musical scores from the film/dialogue and actually watch the film. That is how intrinsically interwoven these arts are to me.

Those long-ago days I walked uphill both ways to school in the snow, wearing only barbed wire on my feet, as snowshoes had not yet been invented.
In Los Angeles,

Spent the weekends at movie theaters. Movie palaces. The days before 20-plexes.
One of the wonderful things about Long Beach was that it was 30 minutes from Hollywood; virtually every film from Hal Roach shorts to David O Selznick‘s Gone With The Wind were first screened in Long Beach.
Fantastical theaters done in Art Deco, California Moorish and Art Nouveau.
None still stand. If you travel to Hollywood the closest you can find is the Chinese Theater. No longer Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Even Grauman’s Egyptian is gone.

Patron cards filled out, producers and actors present. This was still the norm into my teens. In the 70’s. Nineteen not Eighteen.
Filled out lobby cards, saw so many Hollywood legends in the seats (if I were not such a film nerd wouldn’t have noticed) and sneak peeked lots of films. Many of which had their wings clipped when officially released.

Better yet there was a theater in LA that screened Only silent films. Learned to know and love Harold Lloyd, Clara Bow, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino.

Well, as a teen I didn’t hang out at the mall, go to sleepovers, call girlfriends at all hours. Certainly not boyfriends. Well unless they were gay, but not admittedly in those days.
Do you know the reason God made little fat girls? So little gay boys would have friends -smile-.

You could find me at the movies, paying for a cheap Hammer film in silver dimes (from my coin collection), watching MASH at the cheap matinee, sneaking in (ha, easily passed for 17 at age 12 with the right glasses and make-up) to view Cabaret, Clint Eastwood, The Sting -where I developed my love of ragtime and stride piano playing and a fairly worthless professional career- Chinatown and so many other movies.

And that’s a little bit of history.
Have at least 100 45’s now but most of the LP’s are gone, replaced by MP3s and CDs. Still have some classics.
Turntables are available again. Silent movies are shown on TMC. It’s not all dust.

It’s three o’clock in the morning, I’m getting ready for bed.
You know I can’t drink any more.

~Miss R

Luck: When Opportunity Meets Preparation

Watched an interesting, intriguing and fun flick today ‘The Kid Stays In The Picture.’  The film, and autobiographical book it is taken from, is about Robert Evans.

Now I consider myself a film aficionado. With the caveat that it stops with The Jazz Singer. Love them silent films.

Bob Evans turned Hollywood around, but especially kept Paramount from closing forever. As a kid growing up in Southern California, movies were everything to me. Every last penny was spent at the theater, even solid silver dimes from my coin collection. Hell, I was very active in local theater companies back from the age of 11.

Eye on the 1920’s, a kid’s version of being discovered, and the allure of a Hollywood long gone.

Turns out I was, looking back, a below-par actress. On the best day. Luckily the piano and tenor sax saved me from utter obscurity later on. Especially the voice-overs and commercials a few years ago! Or not. Don’t see my name on IMDb.

Just realized something ironic: my last job, prior to being an Executive Ne’er Do Well Trying to Survive on SSD In Reno, was as an Executive Producer for Warner Brothers (The WB, then The CW). Heh. Never thought about that until now.

Anyway, the beginning of the film and Evans’  life in ‘the industry’ begins with his meeting Norma Shearer at the Beverly Hills Hotel pool. She saw him and asked if he would play Irving Thalberg (her late husband) in a film. It was Man Of A 1000 Faces, a cinematic biography of Lon Chaney.

If you don’t know who Thalberg, Shearer or worse Chaney was, then stop reading right here.
Oh alright I’ll wait while you Google.
And get off my lawn you hooligans.

The point of this piece (hello tertiary threads) is that I wasn’t AWARE of Robert Evans’  influence on film. Being an idiot it was a focus on directors, cast and studio. This film melted away a skewed view of thinking, as well as causing me to laugh uncontrollably.

See if it’s available on Netflix, or somehow pops up on TV, which is doubtful. Robert Evans is probably 81 now, but his autobiography is still in print. He is a quite self-effacing writer and funny as hell. According to people who worked with him though… total dickhead. That’s my kind of guy. The man not only made the true change in bringing back audiences to the movies (Rosemary’s Baby and The Godfather for two) but was married seven times.

Fuck I’ve only been married and divorced twice, and get no royalties. –makes sign of  L on forehead-

A final personal note regarding Norma Shearer.

Lived in Long Beach, California  (again) in the early 90’s. My best friend at the time (a fellow musician in our band) lived in a fabulous Deco building,  in a town decorated with them. The Villa Riviera, on Ocean Boulevard. He made friends with the guys who rented (all of the apartments are privately owned now) the penthouse.

Norma Shearer, back in the 20’s, had rented the penthouse. She had contractors build a hidden door and extra apartment which also led to the roof. Verboten to tenants. Even the renters. As if that ever stopped any of us reading this.

I spent many a wonderful night on that roof. The view of beautiful coastline, city lights, the feeling of being amongst friends and of course… my childhood dreams.

 ~Miss R

That’s the way to do the Varsity Drag

the Ruling Class

Just finished watching The Ruling Class, a gem of a film, and shockingly not well-known. Amazing dialogue, satire, bizarre brief yet wonderful musical bits. It is among Peter O’Toole’s best performances. He was nominated for an Oscar. From this there is a soundtrack in my head consisting of The Varsity Drag, Dem Bones and My Blue Heaven .

This is the first time I’d seen it in a good 20 years. Thank you Netflix. Forgotten that one of the female leads was played by the same actress who played Harold’s mother in Harold and Maude. Both were made about the same time, during the Vietnam War. And both were made as indictments of the established order. I believe that MASH was also made the same year.

The Ruling Class leads the viewer to believe that this is a twisted and dark comedy, but as we say at Spanky’s on the playa at Burning Man.

Spanky's Wine Bar at Burning Man

”This will all end in tears.’

We say it as a joke whenever a clusterfuck breaks out.

This is one of the few movies I can watch without tears dropping down my face at the ending. Hell, I’ve cried at the endings of fucking Doctor Who episodes. The Demon Seed admits she has too but the little wench laughs at me when she catches me weeping on the phone, asking why she didn’t warn me. Yes we are both geeks. What about it? You don’t believe me, just step outside and see me baby.

Hey, I was bi-polar before being bi-polar was cool. Not to mention I was a Punk before you were a Punk

Heh. betcha I got you with Fee Waybill and crew. Well pray, really really hard.
To me.
I may bestow  a bit of the title tune on you as well.

Hmmm other firsts? Listed in no particular order but as an exercise to boost the current rock I’m holding for Sisyphus. He had to grab a coffee. Fucker’s been gone over six months.

First student at my college to enroll and begin at age 15 (and the school had already been around for 150 years by then).

First woman in my town to have a tattoo. That was 18 years ago and I don’t want another one. Who the hell Doesn’t have one these days?

First woman my age (45) to have a tongue piercing in the vicinity. Was late to the nipple piercing action but ooh it hurt so good. And feels absolutely delicious now. Too bad gravity has had it’s way with my boobs.

First started my musical ‘career’ playing Gay bars; standards,show tunes and ragtimte. The Whiskey and Madame Wongs came later playing in a punk band. Because I lied about my age. I was 16 not 21. So all you owners that stiffed me way back when? Because all you saw was a girl with big tits standing at an Amazon stature of 5’2″? Go fuck a porcupine you pricks.

First in my family to be the eccentric, but beloved, black sheep and eschew the medical degree deemed proper in our family.
The Demon Seed has declared her intention to get a PhD is psychology. Way cheaper than med school. Her first choice was psychiatrist. So back to doctors we go.

Now I’m almost 50 and I have is my daughter, and she’s going way next month to college, and memories.  And a big-ass concert grand piano.

And perhaps this is why I didn’t cry at the end of The Ruling Class.

Everything changes. Transforms. But mostly sneaks away quietly. It has become so difficult to fight the established order.

And I’m scared as hell. And the current point in life’s curve should probably have had me already hospitalized.

Maybe coming to terms with it all is beginning. And it all started a long time ago. In college.  Fighting back against anything and everything….except Music.

~Miss R

Now go and beg, borrow steal or Netflix ‘The Ruling Class.’ You’ll thank me. And perhaps send a cash tip!