Sunday, September 18, 2011

"You say it's your birthday. It's my birthday too, yeah."

Being a Time Laird is tough, folks.  Ancient clockwork inside, running the pantomime.  Outside, the perennial juvenile.  Dick Powell on acid.  For you youngsters without reference, that might be John Cusack in a Chinatown opium den.  Still too elderly?  How about one of those child stars on Nippleodeon (the network for under-nourished, non-breast fed children).  iGnarly?  Sorry, I'm losing it here  This is what Old Age will do to you, folks.  That's what being a Time Laird is all about . You start out as William Hartnell and end up as Matt Smith.  Talk about cosmetic surgery.  And what about all those companions?  Sure, being around the young keeps you young.  But there are laws out there, Citizens!  So, if a blue police box appears outside your child's school...

But I digress...

Six Hundred & 20 Candles.  Boy, is that a John Hughes film from Hell?  (I believe Molly Ringwald was a companion around 1985-1986.)  620.  Pretty antique.  People say, "You don't look look a day over 500," but I know their lying through their non-false teeth.  Bastards!  Carbon-based lifeforms of undetermined parentage!  Don't you realize how you break both of my hearts?  (Time Lairds actually don't have twin hearts, only twin bladders. How do you think we make those long trips from one end of the universe to Croydon?)

But enough of this sentimentality.  It's my party and I can cry if I want to.  Billy Barty can have pie if he wants to.

Quick, Jo!  Let's step into re-Tardis and head out to desert and Burning Midget Festival.  So created in honour of great little artist, Billy Barty, who, sadly committed suicide.  He jump off curb!

But wait!  I have oddly different idea.  Let's set Wayback Machine to 1968.  (Mr. Peabody and Boy Sherman, not that different from Colin Baker and male companion who look like lead singer from Prodigy.  Or was it Peter Davison?  Not sure.  Loss of memory.  Too many re-degenerations.)

Why 1968?  Because it is the year that the Beatles will personally wish me a birthday greeting in song for my 577th natal or 190th Earth year.

How is this, Dr. Wu-hu?

The Beatles are recording their double album, which will later be referred to as The White Album.  Most songs take several days to record.  But on September 18th, 1968, after watching Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can't Help It on British telly, the boys return to Abbey Road studios to record what is basically Paul's idea, "Birthday."  Supposedly, it is one out of only two songs on the album that features both Paul and John on lead vocals, as well as Yoko Ono singing back-up.  George Martin was not in the studio.  It is the only song done on one day, September 18th.

As a Time Laird, I would love to be gracious and perhaps share the song with Beach Blanket Bongomeister, Frankie Avalon.  Or the "What do I care for your orders.  You can't frighten me, " double GG companion, Greta Garbo.  But in my double heart and double bladder...I know the song....belongs to me!  Thank you Fabs.

Now quick, Jo.  Let's head into re-Tardis and set course for Ming Dynasty and get quick takeaway of Szechuan food.  So hot and spicy, it will Szechuan fire!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"I don't know who you are Sir, or where you come from, but you've done me a power of good."

Hello folks!  A September ramble here.  Computer was down, so I listened to an old Goon Show that I probably hadn't heard since the mid Seventies or early Eighties.  "The Great Regent's Park Swim" from October 1957.  Recently released on the BBC's ongoing CD series.  During those decades, I was fortunate to have had one of the most complete collections of Goon Show tapes from a variety of sources.  These included reel to reel tapes of BBC World Service recordings throughout the years.  David Ossman of the Firesign Theatre was kind enough to lend me his personal collection of transcription discs.  He had broadcast them originally in New York.  And over the years, I met fellow Goon fanatics who had the odd show, different from the original, highly edited EMI/Parlophone LPs or the later BBC vinyl series.  Each new show was a cosmic/comic find of immense psychedelic proportions.

So as we hit September 8th, the twin birthdays of Peter Sellers and Sir Harry Secombe, I feel that modern rhythm Min!

Those with nothing better to do have seen in previous pages my meager encounters with the Goons in varying degrees.  Peter Sellers was always a big influence.  I have spoken before of my involvement with the Sellers Estate, especially with his widow, Lynne Frederick.  Her initial blessing on the Sellers documentary I had put together, "Life is a State of Mind: The Life and Work of Peter Sellers," pretty much capped my obsession.

Earlier, I was proud to get Spike Milligan's consent to do a cameo in my "Space Pirate Video" pilot.  He turned down a video project with Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman, but agreed to mine.  No offense Bill, but there was a slight glow in the Space Pirate's intestinal system.  Spike's secretary, Norma Farnes, treated me very kindly in Spike's office off Hyde Park in Orme Court (having introduced the Italian band Le Orme to U.S. audiences on Space Pirate Radio, I was always fond of the street name).  I'm sorry the event did not come together, but I am pleased that Norma continues to carry on all artistic matters Milligna (the famous typing error).

Never met Neddy.  Probably the sanest of the three (or four if we count original member Michael Bentine).  Bentine or Milligan.  Which one is Syd?

Didn't connect with Sir Harry, or his daughter, whose phone number and address was always on the desk, but I never felt like intruding.  Son Andy, yes...see previous Star Wars entry.

Ray Ellington...Ellinga or Rage Ellington as Sellers called him in one hopped up episode.  No.  Nor his son, who portrayed his father in that HBO Sellers film.  Wally Stott or the transformed Angela Morley?  No.

But that great harmonica player, the butt of Jewish jokes and the Great Conk?  Max Geldray.  Yes.  He was cool.  And harmonicas are cool

Quick, into the re-Tardis.  But first, a Time Laird Gnote...

Sellers was born in 1925.  Secombe was born in 1921.  Milligan was born in 1918.

Sellers died first.  Secombe died second.  And Milligan died last.

It's all in the mind, you know.