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.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sunday papers: art, music, fashion ...

Today's The Sunday Times has come up trumps with a new interview with David Hockney by Brian Appleyard (who also took the photographs), who has interviewed Hockney several times before, on the painter now re-located back in Los Angeles, but looking frail and a lot older at 76. He is still quite deaf and defiantly still smoking, despite his doctors telling him not to. David, like Joni Mitchell, remains one of the great smokers of our time !  As the introductory blurb put it:
 "In a tough couple of years, David Hockney has had a stroke, lost an assistant, decamped from his 'mean-spirited' homeland and put the iPad aside - to produce a brilliant series of painted portraits'.

Its quite a contrast to see the suddenly older Hockney beside his L.A. swimming pool now compared to those other pool shots from the 70s and 80s, as per other Hockney posts here, as of course time relentlessly goes on. We hope David at 76 is able to continue to surprise and delight us, particularly after the tragic death of his assistant Dominic Elliott last year. 
I am thinking too of that time in 1966 when new to Bayswater and not far from Notting Hill, the 20 year old me saw him in a Notting Hill gay bar, somewhere in Pembridge Road. Being my first nervous visit to such an establishment, I did not linger ... but the blond hair and the round black frame glasses were unmistakable. We have liked his various forays over the decades including those recent large paintings from the North of England.

The Daily/Sunday Telegraph on the other hand came up with  '500 Must Have Music Tracks', a nice companion to their '500 must see films' and '500 must-read books'.   This new list (how we love lists!) covers all genres, from love songs, dance songs, folk, singer-songwriters, rock, country, songs from films, opera arias, soul, world music, party songs, tracks to exercise to, covers, live recordings, jazz, songs to drive to, classical songs, timeless anthems, pop songs ("Dancing Queen" to "She Loves You"), guilty pleasures, songs from musicals, blues and hip hop. Phew .... nice illustrations and precise paragraphs on most of them, like this on Deee-Lite's "Groove is in the Heart":"If one song captures the dizzy cartoon utopianism and inclusivity of 1990s dance culture, it's this, the Austin Powers of club tracks: kitsch disco-pop fluff so fun of fun and funk that it's impossible to dislike". / Or on Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind": "Equal parts blues and soul, this was partly written by music innovator Ellington Jordan while serving a prison sentence for robbery, then finished by his friend Etta James. It is as aching and painful a slice of heartache as has been committed to vinyl". Nice to see all my favourites (like Nina Simone) included, from Joni Mitchell's "River" to Joan Armatrading's "Love and Affection". 

On the fashion front, some new chinos I ordered have arrived, at a good sale price too. I love the raspberry colour ones, and its great to have a pair in airforce blue too, as I had a suit in that colour back in the 70s. These will be great for the beach in Ireland, before too long ... I may invest in a good pair of brogue shoes too ... 

A good Sunday then, now for a gin & tonic later on while we catch up with some tv - and the devastating news about Philip Seymour Hoffman. ...

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