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5 Jul

Micheline Bernardini in the world's first bikini, 1946

I bet you didn’t realize what an important date July 5th played in your life.  Sixty-five years ago, the bikini was introduced, changing tan lines forever.   Oddly enough, two separate designers set to revolutionize the beach at the very same time, each one working on his version of the two-piece.

Jacques Heim named his the “atome,” after the teensy atom, and marketed it as “the world’s smallest bathing suit.”  But someone else – Louis Reard – managed to eclipse le atome with ‘bikini.’  It’s really quite amazing.  Reard wasn’t even a full-time designer.  He was a mechanical engineer whose hobbies including swimsuit design.  But while he and Heim had the same idea, Reard was a far better marketer.  His slogan? “Bikini — smaller than the smallest bathing suit in the world.”

And so, on July 5th, 1946, model Micheline Bernardini unleashed the first bikini to the world.   Damn all of them!  Just the other day as I stood in a three way mirror under florescent lights, I decided I’d like to bring back the bathing attire of the 1920s.  But that’s just me.

I have to believe that many a relationship has been started because of a teensy bikini.  And I’m equally sure that the vast majority of them end around Labor Day.  And here’s a great ode to the summer fling – “Summertime Girlfriend” by A.M. 60.  A.M. 60 was an infectious band fronted by Chris Root, who also had a great band before that (The Mosquitos) and has a different dreamy one now (Undersea Poem).  Since that’s three bands, I think I have license to use the other two in subsequent posts.

I’m a  big A.M. 60 fan.  I used an incredibly great song of theirs, “Just A Dream,” in a Schwinn commercial I produced last year.  You should buy it.  The song, not the bike.  Although the bikes are super nice too.

Okay, I need to go do some crunches.  It is bikini season after all.


Cannes You Believe This?

22 Jun

Lou Deprijck

Almost everybody I know is in Cannes this week.  I can’t help but wish I were there too – especially tonight.  A Girl Story – which I wrote about previously – won a Cyber Lion earlier and I’d have loved to have been there to hear that announced.  Regardless, yay!!

So with France on my mind lots, you might think I should post a song by a French artist.  And I kind of am.  What I mean by that is that I am going to give you one that you thought was by one.  Plastic Bertrand’s 1977 smash “Ça Plane Pour Moi” is as Frenchie a song as they come, but Plastic Bertrand (Roger Jouret) is actually Belgian.  He’s half French though.  But it really doesn’t matter what he is because….he never even sung on the record!  It was actually sung by the composer, Lou Deprijck.  It gets weirder.  Lou was the singer on not one, not two, but three Plastic Bertrand LPs!

After denying reports that he was not the real singer, Plastic Bertrand finally came clean and admitted his voice does not appear on any of the songs of those albums.  Somehow, for reasons I don’t completely understand, Belgian courts said that even though he did not appear on the record, he could still claim he was the “legal performer” of the song.

Wait!  I’m not done with the story of the song yet!

Also in 1977  an English band called Elton Motello released “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” which was basically the same song with very different and far more risque lyrics.  Elton Motello was a legit band, but this single “Jet Boy, Jet Girl”  wasn’t actually them.  It was the original “Ça Plane Pour Moi” musicians and was sung by….Lou Deprijck!  When the Plastic Bertrand news came to light last year, Alan Ward, who was the main guy in Elton Motello, confirmed this fact as well.

I know none of this makes much sense.  But you don’t need sense to have a lesson.  The moral of this story is that just as it really doesn’t matter if Lou Deprijck was the singer on a huge hit for Plastic Bertrand or that Elton Motello’s gay cult hit wasn’t really Elton Motello, it also doesn’t matter that I wasn’t in Cannes to hear the news.

It’s all completely awesome.


Abitrary Memories

13 Jun

It’s funny how certain songs can take you back to the most specific, yet completely meaningless, moments.  Dr. Alban’s “Sing Hallelujah” does just that.  Every single time I hear it, I’m transported back a bunch of years.  I was in LA  and sitting in red convertible Mustang rental car with the top down.  (I know…I know…)

We’re stopped at a red light on Wilshire.  I’m in the passenger seat and my crazy Orange Country/Filipino gay art director is driving and my Westchester/Connecticut straight preppy blond copywriter is crunched up in the back seat.  The song is BLASTING and the art director is singing along with it twice as loud.

The weather is perfect and I’m laughing and the copywriter is annoyed at both of us, but in a kind of loving way.  Or at least in a not completely hating us kind of way.  (We were out there for 4 months together, so he was used to this type of thing.)

All of a sudden, I saw a huge rat climb up a palm tree and screamed and the art director looked at me and just sang, “Sing it!”

Then the light turned green.


Stuff I Own

17 May

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I’m in the process of getting rid of almost every CD I own.  I’m saving a couple that have amazing artwork (hello, Joseph Arthur) and others by dead friends (hello those above and below, you know who you are) and some that are, in my head, valuable, but for the most part, as soon as I digitize, they’re packed up.

It’s been a bit of laborious process, but there has been a huge upside.  I forgot so much of what I owned because quite frankly I don’t remember the last time I actually listened to a CD.  And while I didn’t own a humungous amount,  it’s still been an awful lot to forget about.

God knows what I’ll find when I get to the digitizing process of all the many, many, many albums and singles.  But since I can’t imagine getting rid of those, that’s a job I can put off for awhile.  I guess that’s both good and bad.

I’ve rediscovered tons of amazing gems.  And a bunch of guilty pleasures, which luckily have remained guilty pleasures.  And then, for some insane reason, I’ve also realized I owned way too many CDs that I know I never, ever liked.  Why were they even in my home?   (I’m speaking directly to you, Real World Records catalog.)

I would never post something like that for you though.  You only get pure goodness.  As proof, here’s a bit of deliciousness I just pulled in:  the best Madonna cover in the universe.  You really hear the beauty of the song so much on this version. Here you go – John Wesley Harding’s version of “Like a Prayer.

I’m sure it will make you want to run out and buy a case of Pepsi immediately.