Sunday, May 26, 2024

No Hesitation Goes Unremarked By Horn-Blowing: "The Last Farewell" by Roger Whittaker

It is sometime in the second half of 1975, and the jukebox at Graceland is a talisman to remind the singer that other lives, including his, once happened. It holds old records from the time when he still possessed energy and hope, as well as newer, not quite so hopeful or energetic, ones. Already slowing down at forty.

And there is this one record on the jukebox which he plays, over and over to the point of obsession. Something in the song being sung on that record touches him in a place no one else, bar one, has located. He needs to have the song's atoms ingrained into his tormented soul, now on the verge of becoming as red and mottled as clay.

But what was he capable of locating in this humble epic of a sea song which might have dated from the era of Drake? It was not a song that would normally be expected to be entranced into his radar. There is absolutely nothing "rock and roll" about it and perhaps not much that might be ascribable to the twentieth century.

Yet it stayed with him, within him, and the Memphis Mafia were frankly baffled. It was a song he might not have been expected to be able to hear at all, so thoroughly British - so English, in fact - a study that it could have proved as indecipherable to American ears as Slade.

Moreover, the song's singer and co-author was only English by virtue of parenthood; Roger Whittaker was born and raised - and, for a time, fought, when called up to serve in the Kenya Regiment - in Kenya, his parents having emigrated from Staffordshire to the flame trees of Thika. He began a medical degree at the University of Cape Town in South Africa but dropped out after eighteen months and signed up as a civil service teacher. Eventually he ended up at what was then called Bangor University in North Wales, reading zoology, biochemistry and marine biology, although his sideline of folk-singing eventually superseded any ambitions of that kind.

Throughout the sixties he quietly built up a reputation as a reliable fellow to have on board, and by the time he finally had a British hit with the melancholy "Durham Town (The Leavin')" in late 1969 he was already a well-known radio, television and stage performer.

Whittaker didn't so much sidestep current trends in music as leapfrog them or stroll through them as though they did not exist. This meant that he only paid occasional visits to the pop charts, but you usually knew when he was around; his was most certainly not a career that depended upon hit singles. But his 1970 top ten hit "I Don't Believe In If Anymore" was a quietly enraged, methodical deconstruction of the Kipling ethos with slashing Psycho strings and a dolorously authoritative French horn fully worthy of Scott Walker, while 1971's "New World In The Morning" was a jaunty study of cynicism in which Whittaker states that, not only does he not believe in such utopias, but also that he is baffled as to why he had to write the song in the first place.

"The Last Farewell" in fact began its life as a track on that year's New World In The Morning album. It derived from a radio show which Whittaker hosted, one of its regular features being a sort of song-poem interlude where the singer invited listeners to submit a poem or set of lyrics which Whittaker would then try to set to music.

One of these was "The Last Farewell." A Birmingham silversmith named Ron Webster sent in what read like a rather Kiplingesque meditation - the sea captain summoned away from his tropical paradise to return to England, in the midst of what sounds like a bloody war. Or perhaps it was the Baden-Powell of 1899, called away from his luncheon at the Naval and Military Club in Piccadilly and asked to travel to South Africa. In any case, the song was not released as a single in Britain, but did become a firm live favourite.

In Canada, however, a single of "The Last Farewell" did appear in the late autumn of 1974, and became a minor hit. It so happened that the wife of the program director for a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, was travelling through Canada on holiday in the first half of 1975, heard the song on CBC, and upon her return home urged her husband to add the song to his station's playlist.

The song then slowly took off commercially, as such phenomena sometimes do, and by June 1975 had reached the Billboard Top 20. It also returned to the Canadian charts, where on this occasion it made the top ten. By that time, Saigon had fallen, and the Vietnam war was effectively at an end, so the song doubtless struck a nerve in those surviving troops returning home and the families who awaited them.

Following the song's success in North America, however, it began to be released as a single in other countries, including Britain, where it belatedly peaked at number two in September 1975 (behind, with some irony or concordance, Rod Stewart's version of "Sailing"). Overall it sold more than ten million copies worldwide.

"The Last Farewell" is a very controlled song, wistful sighs of memory coming up against clenched-teeth expectation of blood and death. Yet the singer does not surrender hope; the song's final verse sees him dreaming of mist rolling through the English dell (has the word "dell" ever been used in another pop song?), Zach Lawrence's piano and orchestration, and Denis Preston's echoing production, adding to the song's determined stateliness.

But why did this of all songs burrow more firmly into the marrow of his mind than any others? The answer is surprisingly simple - having been called up to the U.S. Army in March 1958, his mother had been diagnosed with hepatitis during his basic training and was seriously ill. He requested and was given emergency leave to go home and see her, but she died two days after his arrival, scarcely into her forties. I don't expect he ever got over that - who would? - but it does, I think, help to illuminate his fascination with "The Last Farewell"; he listened to it again and again because he was thinking about his mother, and 1958, and being called up perhaps to fight, and maybe he interpreted what Whittaker was singing as a hymn to her ("For you are...beautiful"). The song's 1975 obverse? A desperate gatecrash of an epic song detailing a frantic need to get away from home, to find...something, anything, that he and his lover could love more dearly than the spoken word could tell - i.e. "Born To Run."

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Pieces Of A Hazy Rainbow: "Misty" by Ray Stevens


The talk at the moment is all about country music, and if you grew up in the West Central Scotland of the seventies, it was country, not rock or pop, which was the dominant music you heard; songs like Freddy Fender's "Before The Next Teardrop Falls," number one in both the U.S.A. and Scotland, unbought south of Dumfries, Tammy Wynette's seven-year-old "Stand By Your Man" which suddenly became a semi-expected national crossover smash, the continued resonance of Jim Reeves, local stars like Sydney Devine.

If you were growing up in 1975 with the music of Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen richocheting between your eleven-year-old ears, you might have thought country as square as Andy Stewart on television at Hogmanay. But it was actually quite a fertile year for the music; indeed, at least three groundbreaking country albums appeared in 1975. There was Pieces Of The Sky by Emmylou Harris, anxious to demonstrate she could do things without Gram, and which proved an excellent set of interpretations. There was the astonishing Old No 1 by Guy Clark, whose character studies and instinctive empathy with working people directly parallel those expressed on Born To Run.

Most strikingly, however, there was Willie Nelson's song cycle Red Headed Stranger, a mixture of old songs and briefer new narratives expertly sequenced to convey the feelings inspired in the singer by a song called "Tale of the Red Headed Stranger," which Nelson regularly played on the radio while a D.J. Think of the two "Smoke Hour" cameos Nelson makes on Cowboy Carter and you'll see where I might be going with this.

It was therefore quite a natural progression for Ray Stevens - the man who discovered and signed Dolly Parton to Monument Records in the sixties - to make a country record, and perhaps furnish a subtle but good-natured rejoinder to Ray Charles' appropriation of the music thirteen years before. The resulting album was named after its title song, a tune written by Erroll Garner in his head while travelling on a 'plane from San Francisco to Chicago in 1954. The 'plane passed through quite a turbulent thunderstorm, and on approaching O'Hare Airport Garner could see a hazy rainbow in the sky. He began to imagine the tune there and then.

Eventually Johnny Burke was persuaded to provide lyrics to the tune, which was promptly subjected to many interpretations, most strikingly that recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1959; a record which really resembles no other (with the possible if distant exception of the Flamingos' contemporaneous "I Only Have Eyes For You") in its weightless ethereality and the singer's supreme confidence in working the studio and treating the record as a record - he frequently stands a little distance away from his microphone before slowly walking towards it, like a lonely sea reclaiming its river.

Stevens presumably decided that, if a song was great enough, it would work in any musical style; hence he treats "Misty" as a modestly-dazzled hoedown with continous pedal steel commentary, a battalion of fiddles whenever a thousand violins begin to play and a vocal performance which in its seemingly unobtrusive and amiable way covers scales as widely and emotionally as Roy Orbison. He is dazed but happy and that's all he wants to communicate, and evidently it was all people in 1975 wanted to be told. When Stevens downplays the comedy - this is the humble novelty of a well-known song interpreted in an unexpected manner - a real smile can develop. He'll be damned if you won't fast dance with him.

Monday, January 9, 2023

It's Never Too Late To Change Your Mind: Tammy Jones: "Let Me Try Again"

If hauntology is to mean anything, then it must involve something from the present coming back to haunt the past, and it therefore incidentally follows that some unlikely pop records of old are bestowed with a new and unexpected significance. This record peaked at number two in the NME chart week ending 24 May 1975, twelve days before the United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum. Those of us able to vote at the time obviously did not include the eleven-year-old me, but certainly included my parents, both of whom voted "Yes," as did some 67.23% of British voters, many of whom were young and unburdened by the alleged legacies of heritage and war (I note that Windsor Davies and Don Estelle's "Whispering Grass" was vaulting from 26 to 11 in the same NME chart, on its way to the top).


Listening to this interpretation of what was originally a French song in 2023, amidst the wrecked dreams and blasted economy of what used to be Britain, is nearly, if accidentally, unbearable in its poignant promise - and I do not discount the competing but not necessarily contradictory "Let us go alone" mantra emanating from the Wales and Scotland throughout the spring of 1975.


Tammy Jones was born Helen Wyn Jones in Bangor in March 1944 and rose to prominence after winning a season of Hughie Green's Opportunity Knocks television talent contest. Although the publicity spoke about an ordinary Welsh housewife who just happened to have one heck of a voice, Jones was actually quite a well-known name on the cabaret circuit who had undergone formal voice training at the Guildhall School, had been recording (albeit mainly in Welsh) since the late sixties, and had already appeared on stage and television many times before OK, including at least one Royal Variety Performance.

The song "Let Me Try Again" had originally been called "Laisse-moi Le Temps" ("Give Me More Time") and had been recorded by many French artists, including two of its co-writers, Romauld and Caravelli (the third co-writer was the lyricist Michel Jourdan). In 1973, Frank Sinatra, bored by early retirement, was looking to make a comeback, and as with his previous farewell song "My Way," Paul Anka was asked to write an English lyric to the tune; this he did with the help of Sammy Cahn - so there was a real, concerted effort to bring Sinatra back.

While the parent album OI' Blue Eyes Is Back is not at all bad - it is for the most part a wistful, reflective and slightly melancholy study ("There Used To Be A Ballpark," "Nobody Wins," an interesting alternate emotional take on "Send In The Clowns") - Sinatra's "Let Me Try Again" is a little too self-satisfied and in places a shade too bossy ("Just forgive me," he demands twice, like a subdued Joe Pesci); the British public I think spotted that flaw and didn't make the single a hit.

Whereas Tammy Jones sings the song like she means it. Being Welsh, there is an obvious Shirley Bassey influence at work (although intriguingly I do not think Dame Shirley herself has ever recorded the song) but Jones goes at the emotions of the song as though she'd been waiting her entire life to sing it, to articulate them.

The crucial emotional difference here is that, instead of Sinatra's "Just forgive me," Jones offers "Please forgive me" (and, in the second chorus, a rhetorical "Oh, please forgive me"). As the key goes up for the final chorus, Jones' voice rides it smoothly (whereas Sinatra does his best to avoid or minimise the pitch shift) and by the time the song and record end, her larynx and teeth cling onto that final syllable of "again" as though she has been shaken to her core and will not let go of the song, her plea, our hope.

But in 2023 one hears such expressions as "Think of all we had before," "I was such a fool to doubt you/To try to go it all alone" and especially "Now all I do is just exist" and "Pride is such a foolish mask**," and this record sounds like the rational Britain - you know, the one in which we all actually live, not the one the government and media want to think we're inhabiting - pleading to Europe to give them another chance, with no further "Non!"s, crying out for a future. It is almost intolerably emotional and makes me think of how much promise appeared in my view of 1975, what I was taught by my parents and teachers then, and how all of it has now been wrecked and destroyed. If the Manic Street Preachers ever come across this piece, I'm certain they'd agree with its outlook.*

*A curious but logical counterpart for Welsh music of 1975 - not simply "Rhondda Grey" by Max Boyce, but also "Leaving It Up To You" by John Cale, who fed that anger directly into another important record of later that year - and the boy looked at Tammy (who returned to Wales after a long spell in New Zealand, and will celebrate her 79th birthday two months hence) and handed her a branch of cold flame.

**T.J. actually sings "But love is such a foolish mask" which is an obvious mistake, but I think it was charming that the producer (Robin Blanchflower) let it stand, since it's a sign of humanity. You wouldn't get that in today's fearsomely airbrushed world.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

DO IT!: Van McCoy: "The Hustle"


There is nothing quite like waking up to frankly miserable weather/news only to hear about it and then be thrown by an overly upbeat announcer telling you to cheer up and dance and get moving and DANCE ---

Disco is a fine thing, but like everything it does have its place.  It has been more than suggested that it is the popular music everyone likes and the one music which people turn to when things are relentlessly tiresome or numbing.  But it wasn’t music for just anyone at the beginning; in fact it was music for those who liked to dance and also a refuge for those who were not exactly welcome elsewhere. 

In early 1975 Van McCoy was working on an album to be called (of course) Disco Baby.  In need of some inspiration information, he sent his business partner Charles Kipps to a disco to see if he could pick up any moves or grooves, and he brought back two dancers from the Adam’s Apple.  McCoy watched these dancers do the Hustle right there and then and was stunned and a little puzzled, but fell hard.  The next day (yes, the next day) “The Hustle” was recorded, and the rest is history.  We have, inadvertently, reached the second half of the 70s, the disco half.  The fog has lifted and the sun is shining and all is elegant and glamorous and exciting, emotional even.  A dance that came up from the Bronx gangs, the Latin Hustle (close to salsa) has bumped into some very seasoned studio musicians and a composer who clearly wants to write the disco song. 

Make no mistake:  this song is just one of many varieties of Hustle, but it takes OFF.  It’s catchy, simple, sweet –  kind of like Philadelphia International, but lighter and determinedly open somehow.  It is an anthem, an ode to the spirit of New York City, which was bankrupt but continued nevertheless.  It bumps and soars and sweeps and entreats you to join in and dance, never exactly telling you how to do the Hustle, but just to do it.  It is the little engine that could's triumphant lap.  It's emotional because McCoy had been in the music business for so long as a writer and producer and this dance appears one night and YYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAH "The Hustle" comes to him, as if in a fairy tale, and the joy he has had in creating it is right there in the music.  It is devotional music in a way, a tribute, and all it asks is that you dance however you want to and voila - you are doing the Hustle.  (It is significant that it's a dance for two people, though I always imagine the housewife in Des Moines dancing in her kitchen, as well as professional dancers in Hustle contests across New York City.)  

McCoy lived to see disco thrive and prosper, and was working on a 12" version of "The Hustle" when he died in 1979 - DJs wanted a 12" of it, which goes to show you what an instant classic it became.  That no one expected the song to do very much business is the cherry; it was merely supposed to be filler.  Thus I cannot claim McCoy to be a prophet but he inadvertently set the second half of the 70s agenda and there were those who (in the fullness of time, not now) bitterly resented him and disco in general.  But I don't think these people deserve my writing about them.  The happiness here erases all that, supercedes it, has already gone past it.  There is no looking back for disco now, and those who insist on playing it at 7am are, as irritating as they can be, doing everyone a favor by reminding people to dance, the Hustle or otherwise.

Next up:  the umbrella underneath which all other musics stand.





Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Why Cry When You Can Dance? : “I Wanna Dance Wit Choo”: Disco Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes/ “Try To Remember/The Way We Were”: Gladys Knight and the Pips

“Nostalgia has always been a bit of a bunko scam.”  David Rakoff 

 The current situation has made people nostalgic, but what is it they are nostalgic for? This is the big question, perhaps too big for this modest blog. Is it the 1970s, a time of one actual/manufactured outrage and disaster after another? As a girl growing up in this time I have (for personal reasons that don’t really fit in here) very little nostalgia for this period, as so much of it was so monochrome and repetitive when it wasn’t disturbing and frightening. Yet even there, you can see how for so many anything distracting or weird or indeed nostalgic was attractive, even necessary.* 

“I Wanna Dance Wit Choo” was the second hit single for Bronx-born Sir Monti Rock III and his backing singers – including Four Season Bob Crewe and his writing pal Kenny Nolan, who both dug the disco scene and very much wanted to get involved. I could go into why disco was popular and the people who went to discos, but let’s just say at this point people were already starting to see disco was a ‘thing’ and they weren’t just male-only spaces as they had been before. At the same time, this is a camp single if there ever was one, (with Sir Monti sounding like David Johansen, ranting in English and Spanish**) and it can be heard as either very enthusiastic or kind of annoying, depending on how much you knew about the already outrageous public appearances of Monti Rock (who had been on tv regularly since the 60s, charming Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.) That said, Disco Tex and His Sex-o-lettes definitely made personal appearances in actual discos, telling people to open up, loosen up and have fun and dance - it's disco time, baby!*** 

While this single got to #2 on the Luxembourg chart, Disco Tex and his entourage were never going to stay around for long – one more album (Manhattan Millionaire – but of course) and he was off making movies and Crewe and Nolan had already written “Lady Marmalade” and “My Eyes Adored You” which have both fared much better over time than the kitschy, outspoken man from the Bronx. People remember (or they lazily let the radio/media remember for them) certain things, but not others. The 70s was a weird decade, and this being as decisively not played as other obscure #2s from this time shows how people want to look back, for sure, but not that much. 

Also getting to #2 on the Luxembourg chart, Gladys Knight and the Pips (though the Pips are taking a break here; it’s just Gladys) certainly know what nostalgia and looking back are really about. Knight mentions ‘the good ol’ days’ in a way that show that while she knows the pleasures and satisfactions of looking back, they are themselves a bit fatuous and she wonders if the children of the mid-70s will look back at this time – a time of real hardship in Harlem and all of NYC as it was declared bankrupt – if even this time will be recalled with aw-c’mon-it-was-great-really fondness. 

This is a live recording from the Apollo; Knight’s audience is not exactly looking back at the same world as those who heard this song in the context of its movie. The classic line about “what’s too painful to remember we simply choose to forget” (thank you, Alan and Marilyn Bergman) is true, but I know from my own experience that it’s a privilege to ‘choose’ to forget something. It’s far more common (for me) to have to be vigilant about not recalling things and being active in forgiving people in my past in order to move forwards. Let the past be the past. Knight knows people will talk about how much better things were, but she also knows it’s a folly, a way of avoiding dealing with the here and now. 

But people who are living in tough times want fun – and if nostalgia is a way out, they will take it. The 70s was in a way a long process of trying to escape from itself, done in part by trying to remember. Though again, what is being remembered? 

Up next: It’s not how you do it, it’s just that you do it. 

*Nostalgia for the 50s was at a high-tide point round about now, what with American Graffiti more or less begetting Happy Days. The 70s would go back even further in the next year or so. 

** His real name is Joseph Montanez Jr. 

***The Pet Shop Boys song “Electricity” directly mentions Disco Tex – sung from the point of view of perhaps Neil Tennant himself?

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Maximal to Minimal: Minnie Riperton: "Lovin You"

Now I feel we have reached a song that divides people to this day – is it good? Is it unbearably twee and girly and yuck? Certainly the latter was my reaction to it once I had grown up a bit, had my own radio and so on. For all I know this is how some still respond to it, because of Riperton’s high voice, because of the birds tweeting away, because they think music (particularly by women) must somehow involve suffering, and there is no suffering here. There is no struggle here, no abandonment, no imminent collapse or mourning. It is all love, optimism and joy.

I listen to this now and carefully note that this is a heroic tugboat of a song. Happiness with a strong voice (a coloratura voice with four octaves) gliding along emphatically as well as gracefully. She looks forward to the future, knowing in her heart it will always be springtime, there will always be birds chirping and sunshine and and....

Let me back up a bit in Minnie’s story. She met Richard Rudolph as a young woman in the group Rotary Connection, a band on the Chess label which had Charles Stepney producing and (rests gracefully on sadly non-existent chaise longue) among their albums there was one of covers from 1969 called Songs which kludged rock and soul together in a way that still sounds startling. Then two years later came Hello Love and the abundanza of “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun.” Stepney really should have been nominated for Producer of the Year because WHAT WITH THE WHAT NOW and IT CAN BE DONE BUT ONLY I CAN DO IT reasons. But Producer of the Year didn’t exist then (Thom Bell was the first to win one in 1975).

In between these albums her first solo album, Come Into My Garden, was released in 1970 (produced by Stepney). Rotary Connection had had some bad luck (declining Woodstock, for instance, as it was too far away – instead they opened for The Stooges closer to home) and Stepney was determined to get Riperton’s voice heard. He tried, with the amazing “Les Fleur” but the label she was on (a subsidiary of Chess) was floundering and eventually everyone left for Los Angeles to make a fresh start of things, save for Riperton, who basically needed a rest and wanted to settle down, moving to Florida with Rudolph in 1972. However, Riperton was coaxed into getting back into music a year later (lured inevitably to Los Angeles).

Riperton started to work with Stevie Wonder as a backing singer, and then he produced her album Perfect Angel, where “Lovin’ You” appears. After the ornate and sometimes flat-out overwhelming Stepney productions, Wonder made things simple – just a few birds to add to the perpetual springtime of the song, with Riperton’s voice front and center, as opposed to being part of a chorus. It’s an easy song that Rudolph and Riperton wrote, a kind of lullaby to their baby Maya (you can hear Riperton sing her name at the end).

Is there something guileless about this song? I’m not sure there is, though it certainly can seem that way to hipsters who disdain open sentiment. The remarkable thing is what happened after this was a hit – she made more albums, continued to perform and at the same time had to live with the diagnosis of breast cancer, which doctors told her at first was going to end her life in six months. She had a double mastectomy and kept right on going, becoming a spokeswoman for breast cancer awareness and even recorded her last album while in great pain – presumably at her own insistence.

She died at the age of 31 in 1979, an indomitable force and an inspiration to many musicians (Mariah Carey, Kate Bush and of course Stevie Wonder) and the women who were also dealing with cancer at the time – not a taboo subject these days, but one hardly mentioned in the mid-70s. This song is a song of love, a heroic and happy song of the mother and wife, ultimately a song about being alive itself as a joy.

Next: There’s looking backwards and then there’s taking stock.


*Could someone at Ace Records do a Charles Stepney compilation please? It’s way overdue and there are all sorts of music he did while at Chess. Thanks!


Monday, November 9, 2020

Animal Crackers pts. 2 and 3: The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over The Lazy Dog: "Fox On the Run" Sweet and "Love Me Love My Dog" Peter Shelley

For the foreseeable future I am going to have to speed up some here at MSBWT in order to get out of the emotional ditch known as ‘the mid-70s’ – perhaps you feel the same way? Though when (for lack of a better word) landmark #2s come along, I will devote more time to them.

Thus, these two very different songs have to be together. They both point to something – the end of the Glam Slam and what happens next. The Sweet, a bit at a loss as to what to do (and politely told by their label to have another hit already), found a song on their album they wrote themselves, rejigged it and lo and behold it was a worldwide hit, just at the time when Glam was pretty much over and this tougher style, I can’t use that word just yet.

They continued to exhaust themselves touring and relying on writing their own material, eventually hitting it big with “Love Is Like Oxygen” in 1978. That is the first time I heard them – however that song is no fun* whereas "Fox On The Run" (not as odd as The Hollies’ “After The Fox” of course) rocks and jumps and struts around its Glam victory lap before disappearing, all shiny and loud and stompy as ever.

Peter Shelley (I’m sure he’s heard all the comments) once wrote songs for Alvin Stardust, but as Glam faded he and Marty Wilde wrote about his dog instead, about how anyone interested in him should appreciate his dog too. Which is.... fine. Every sentiment can get written about, though in this case the song (an NME #2, posted below) has disappeared from the common memory just as “Sugar Candy Kisses” did, hiding somewhere on a European compilation which is lingering in an attic. The song is sincere at least (he appeared on Top of the Pops to perform this song with his loyal dog by his side) and it does add to the odd number of mid-70s songs about animals, including “Shannon” and “Mandy” (originally) and “Wildfire” which I think is about a horse that disappears into the West.**

These were anomalies for the time, little signals of the decade as it turned quite decisively to something else. Disco, reggae, these guys from Germany called Kraftwerk, the Rollers – this replaced Glam***, along with the Soulboy contingent who were into...well, anything from Bowie to jazz-funk to Northern Soul. Any casual look at the charts from this time will show that what was going on wasn’t boring, though if you were fifteen or so you might find a lot of what I just mentioned too...sophisticated? Safe? The very complicated situation (or you could say grown-up) of music meant certain sectors felt a bit ignored and left out.

This is addressed eventually, but for now there’s a homely man and his dog, and a fox disappearing over the horizon.


Next: The birds and the bees et les fleurs.


*It’s them trying to be New Wave, and failing miserably.

**Loudon Wainwright III’s “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road” sort of fits in here, more or less.

***Not that Glam goes away entirely – there will always be echoes of it here and there, the most prominent of them showing up in the due course of time.