Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Divas ain't what they used to be ...

An interesting new year afternoon catching up with the 2012 VH1 DIVAS - that annual Diva concert from music channel VH1. This one though leaves one wondering whatever happened to divas. It begins amusingly enough with host Adam Lambert finding his inner diva with help from GLEE's marvellous Nene Leakes. Then there is a mish-mash of dance music tributes by divas who are not well known on this side of the Atlantic, apart from Kelly Rowland and Miley Cyrus. The snippets we see of real diva stars Donna Summer, Whitney Huston, Blondie and Madonna are the best things on offer, apart from Adam in that red get-up.

There is also a pitiful attempt to recreate the best dance track of all time - Deee-Lite's "Groove Is In The Heart" by Natasha Bedingfield and some others, that makes one want to rush and put on the real thing.
Adam though rocked with his versions of David Bowie's "Lets Dance" and bravely took on Madonna's "Ray of Light" in a very odd Kaballah ? style tunic.

Thank goodness I got the dvd of the first Diva concert in 1998 - was it really that long ago ? - headed by Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Carole King, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan and Mariah Carey - now, thats Divas!  Let's play it again ... The divas headed by Aretha singing Carole's "Natural Woman" ...

 I must dig out an old vhs video cassette recording of a 1993 Aretha TV Special: "ARETHA FRANKLIN & FRIENDS: DUETS" where introductions are by Dustin Hoffman and Robert de Niro, and her back-up singers "The Aretha-aires" are only Elton John, Rod Stewart and Aretha's old pal Smokey Robinson. as they belt out the likes of : "Chain of Fools", Elton's "Border Song", "I Never Loved A Man", "Think", "Since You've Been Gone", "Natural Woman", "This Old Heart of Mine", "People Get Ready", Spirit in the Dark" etc. Its almost as good as seeing Aretha at her peak as my pal Stan and I did in 1968 and 1970 both at Hammersmith Odeon, before she stopped flying to Europe. 

My Aretha 1968 and 1970 Concert Programmes

We also saw Otis Redding and the Stax Tour there in 1966, just before they took that flight home .... 

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