Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kaja Whaaaaat?!

Oh dear - I have been so busy being busy and saving my backside from freelance penury that I clean forgot to celebrate my blog's 5th birthday. How about a cake to celebrate? I think I'll have this one:

Goodness - what was the baker thinking of? Anyway - what I want to know is why are Kajagoogoo are getting back together? Obvious - money. But, and there is a big but WHO would want to go and see them - especially as they now look like this:

I had no idea Grayson Perry was part of the reunion line-up did you? On the subject of reunions - The Specials performed a few blinder gigs earlier this month - I recommend you cast your eye over a great review here at my mate Ister's if you want to feel like you were there as well as read some fine commentary on the very subject of 80's band reunions. Some people unfairly referred to this year's Specials reunion as 'chicken in a basket'. What with Kajagoogoo and the like of The Nolan Sisters dusting down their burnt orange polyester cameltoe outfits I find the prospect of them returning more Iceland 100 Vol-au-Vent platters for a £1 if you ask me.

I'm not too shy shy hush hush are you are - I'm off to the Kaja Forum to chat to some real fans and find out just who on earth is going to buy tickets to see them this time around. I might just browse the Kaja Shop too for some fake plaits and white espadrilles while I am at it. I hear they are big in Germany. So is David Hasselhof. Enough said.

Oh no you don't ladies! Keep back!

Spring roll platter anyone?


Friday, May 08, 2009

Let's Get Lost

A few weeks ago I caught up with Bruce Weber's Let's Get Lost (1988) documentary which is about legendary jazz artist Chet Baker. It is a beautiful and seminal biopic of someone's life through their own eyes. If you have never seen it I can highly recommend it. It is beautifully shot and edited. Weber and Baker became very close friends which adds to the candour and beauty of it all.

I have always been a huge fan of Chet's. Just the name Chet sounds cool doesn't it? Chet had it all - amazingly handsome and cool of gait, ridiculous talent for playing the trumpet, brilliant songwriter and his honeycoated voice was so original one wonders how he managed to be so perfect. He also had an legendary appetite for drugs, drink and all out self-destruction. Somehow, despite the fact he lost all his front teeth (official version: in a fight, apparently too ashamed to admit was actually through drug use) he re-adjusted his 'embouchure' and had to learn to play with dentures. For many trumpet players in this position their career would be over or at the very least their technique/sound changed - Chet's never faltered. He was a perfectionist.

Chet's version of My Funny Valentine is epic. My best and sadly departed friend Abbie secretly arranged for a band to play it for me once in a crabshack in US - absolutely brilliant. Despite his his crazy fucked up life he remained true to his sound, his instrument and his work. An enigmatic, clever and tragic man. A beautiful man.

This is Chet in 1987 (a year before he died) performing My Funny Valentine in Tokyo. I really do recommend you watch and listen to it to the end as Chet hated it when people talked all the way through. He really did like hearing the audience listen and so they should. Ironically it wasn't the drugs that killed him. He fell from his apartment window in Amsterdam in 1988.

Shivers, goosebumps, tears. A remarkable man.