Jan 30, 2011

Sweet Surrender: Tim Buckley

Note: I hope I don't offend anyone with this post, cultural conventions being what they are, so different in every country.

When I was a kid we used to watch a TV show called The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.

It was a cool show about a bunch of US Calvary soldiers led by the handsome Leutenant Rip Masters. Naturally the US Calvary Soldiers spent all their time fighting "Red Injuns" with the help of an alsation dog named, yes you guessed it - "Rin-Tin-Tin."

Like all good TV shows of that period (Book Him Dano! or Smith You've Done it Again etc) it had a catchcry. The catch-cry, which came from the show's little boy star (Rusty), was: "Go get him Rinnie!".
At the time Rinnie was usually catching a bank robber - or a "nasty Injun" - cause in those days all Native Americans were called "Injuns", and all "Injuns" seemed to be "bad uns"- and all bank robbers were caught by little boys with dogs.

Of course the big irony is that the Injuns, who had names like "Black Cloud", "Chief Running Horse", "Chief Red Eagle",  were often played by 'white men' - white men with fat paunches, white skin and white stripes painted on their faces. In fact, to be perfectly honest, now I read the names of indigenous Native American characters, they sound like heroes - which of course they were in real life.

You might be interested to know that the boy who played Rusty, was also in the movie Hans Christian Andersen with Danny Kaye. He later went on to be a very good carpenter. (Out of interest, you can see Rusty in the very first image of this post - the nancy boy one one over on the far right, with his left arm docked below the elbow - minor drop saw injury).

Travel forwards in time, to a few years later in 'real life', when I've hung up my pop guns and I'm a bit older, about seventeen, and Rinnie has gone the way of all good children's soaps - and along into the vacuum (along with the Doors, Deep Purple, Stones) drifts a singer named Tim Buckley.

Buckley was rumoured by his record company to have a four octave voice. With this four octave voice, he sang such groovy songs as "Get on Top Of Me Woman" and ... err..... other seedy songs that currently escape what remains of my little grey cells.

Suprisngly Buckley's songs were often about sex and/or  drugs. Suffice it to say, they weren't the kind of songs you wanted your teenage daughter singing. Suffice it to also say that lots of teenage girls did sing the songs.

Not that I was a teenage girl, but I sang them as well - often when under the influence of non alcoholic apple cider. I sang them yes - but sadly for my neighbours not with the same elastic elan as Buckley - because I am unique in the world in that I have a 'no' octave voice.

Anyway, Buckley (like his son Jeff) died young - which is very sad. He was 28. He died from a drug overdose.

Why am I telling you this?

So you know he is a great singer. All great singers, by definition, die young. Of course some really bad singers, or even good singers with bad haircuts (eg I'm leaving on a jet plane John Denver) die young. So it's not a mutually exclusive club - by any means.

In his Album "Greetings from LA"  Buckley had a song called "Sweet Surrender" - which is what I thought of when I saw his weeks Illustration Friday prompt.

I always thought that "Sweet Surrender"  was about surrendering yourself to earthly pleasures - but in retrospect, on a wider scale, now I have studied poetry at uni for a while and can write 2000 word essays about absolutely nothing at all, I can see that "Sweet Surrender" has several  different layers of meaning.

Just like this post.

For example, if you observe the previous picture I have zoomed in on the face. And in the next pic, I have changed the viewpoint. Apparently you have to do that for picture books, to keep the kids interested. Not that this is a kid's book. Far from it. It's not even a kid's post. Though there are kids in the images.

In fact, I was going to give you the lyrics to Sweet Surrender, but on re-reading them nearly 40 years later they seem so trite - especially  when dissassociated from the voice.  I guess it just shows that it's all in the delivery.

Ahh shucks. I can't resist. Here's a few.

So this flim-flam lover boy
Found him a flamingo.
And his flamingo
Showed him how to tango.
And when they tangoed
It'd send their heart's a â˜flutter.
Teased him 'till he'd stutter.
Made him so young and tender.
Sweet to surrender
And so sweet surrender.
In sweet surrender.

Ahh, sweet surrender to love.

So you see, the song isn't just about little boys playing cowboys. It's also about flimflams (whatever they are), flamingoes, spanish dancing, cardiac murmers, speech defects, cooking steak, lolly addiction - and, above all, romance.

So with the word 'romance' I have to leave you... but before I do one l ast picture. I have been practicing my negative space. It's something that I am bad at - like being silent.

thanks so much for reading. :)

If your eyeballs aren't worn out you can read about Tim Buckley here.  There's a pic of him on that web page and you'll see that, as well as being a fine singer, he had cool side levers.

By the way, please click the pictures in this post to m ake them bigger. :)

Jan 16, 2011

Illustration Friday: Chicken - The Death of Gerald Arthur Rottenheimer

Well it's been so long.

I made a new year's resolution you know. 
Apparently carrots make you turn orange. Did you know that?
So I have given them up.

But before you laugh, I have to point out that it's a well known fact that the carotene in carrots makes human skin turn orange.

Of course you have to eat a certain amount of carrots per day.
But I think that even the remotest possibility of having a vegetable make you the laughing stock of the other commuters waiting at your bustop just isn't worth the risk.

You probably might say that people who have a financial need to catch the bus (as opposed to having a private chauffeur) don't matter. But I can tell you that they do. Sometimes it's even a life or death situation.

In my neck of the woods, examples abound a plenty.

Consider, for example, that 'just' last year, just up the road at my 'local', we had a ninety three year old bent backed bus commuter named Gerald Arthur Rottenheimer throw himself under a shopping trolley at the supermarket - all because he had been seen the previous day waiting for a bus in the rain without wearing - yes you guessed it - the correct 'bus mounting boots'.

Now you might never have heard of "bus mounting boots". But that doesn't mean that they are of no importance.

Before you start to giggle in disbelief I would like you to pause for a moment - perhaps just even close your eyes for half a minute and think about poor Gerald Arthur Rottenheimer.

You see Gerald really didn't deserve to go that way.

Even though Gerald didn't smell the best, he always made sure that his slicked down silver grey hair was parted neatly in the middle. And this head hair was immaculate in the way that it matched the thatch of hairs that sprouted from both his ears, and his nasal cavities.

As for clothes he was quite the connosieur (why do I always pick words I can't spell?). Quite often he was to be seen wearing shirts that were only stained at the front - and I only caught him waiting at the bust stop once without his trousers.

But he'd had a good excuse that day... He told me in a whisper that Mrs Crabbit from number five had made a visit to his apartment in the morning and the only way that he could escape from her amorous clutches was to lock himself in the bathroom and clamber out the window (three floors up mind you) shimmy down the drain pipe and dash to the bustop in the hope of sucour - all without his trousers.

So now you have the picture - a ninety year old, bent backed, silver vaselined haired, trouserless man, with a thatch of lush nasal and ear hair, a man who, though he washed monthly, still  didn't smell too good, in a fit of hellish embaressed manic despair, throwing himself under the runaaway shopping trolley of a thrice unwed mother, the shopping trolley itself filled to the brim with used babies' nappies and no  name 500 gram brand cans of spaghetti.

It's not a pleasant way to go, is it?

That's why I gave up carrots.
Because of Gerald.

See you soon, maybe tommorow :)
Oh if you click the images, it gets bigger.
Thank you for looking.

Oh there are some star thingies and a poll. I didn't put them on, they came with the template. I have to figure out how to delete them. Must be in the html code? And sorry my banner is off centre. All the best blogs have off centred banners ;)