Posts Tagged ‘Grace Jones’

Writing in Response 5: Visuals from the world of film and rock n roll

June 8, 2012

So the mantra is: you must read in order to write.

But I would urge you to watch and listen as well – take in the stimulus from around you, from around this rich and diverse world of ours.

Indulge in the following inspirations from the comfort of your home. Let your mind go and it will return to you more creative and stimulated than ever. Who knows what you’ll write in the wake of the following suggestions?


Watch and listen – Rock clips

Grace Jones – Slave to the Rhythm

Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes

Don Henley – Sons of Summer

Robert Plant – Big Log

Kate Bush – all

Police – Wrapped Around Your Finger

Chris Rea – On the Beach

Tears for Fears – Everybody wants to rule the world

George Michael – all the clips without him in them

Duran Duran – Rio – any clip for any song from the album

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Billy Idol – White Wedding

Guns n’ Roses – November Rain

Queen – Radio Gaga, I Want to Break Free, Bohemian Rhapsody



Watch as many of these films as you can – at least once if not more to really get the fun, the nuances and the point!



Spirited Away

Howl’s Moving Castle

Donnie Darko

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Adventures of Baron Munchausen

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus






David Lynch movies

Quentin Tarantino movies

Tim Burton movies

Terry Gilliam movies

Black and white movies

Different genre movies to what you would normally watch, eg Sci Fi, Animae, Family, etc



European and World movies that offer the world differently – in different colours, different sensibilities, different topics and approaches – different ways of ‘seeing’ and ‘being’: an alternative humanity to that offered by Hollywood films.



Herein you will find more open ended stories, no answers or neatly tied boxes, more questions than answers, more for you to consider and take with you.

Reach out, embrace the visual richness of our created world, let others imaginations fire your imagination! (Images courtesy Google Images)

10 Best Rock n Roll Women of the 70s & 80s

November 9, 2011

Women of music: a list from the time when music became central to my life. As usual a personal and eclectic list – some are incontestable, some entirely up to me. Who do remember, who would you include? (Listed alphabetically, that’s all.)

Annie Lennox – unique, amazing, spectacular – gave androgyny a whole new meaning. How could she be so feminine in such boys wear? Brilliant voice, strong and ballsy but could reduce you to tears too. The epitome of anthemic girls music.

Aretha Franklin – okay so she’s really timeless in a sense but how can any list of great women singers leave her out? Check out her duo with Annie – Sisters are doing it for Themselves and always Respect. Never mind her size, it’s the voice that matters.


Blondie – didn’t you want to look like her? So cool, so hip, so obviously not a blonde but with absolute blonde attitude. My uni days (and many nights) vibrated to her music. Heart of Glass, Call Me, The Tide is High, Maria and Rapture – all classics.


Bette Midler – The Divine Miss M. I channelled Bette through the early 80s, we were as one, shame about my voice but I did have the attitude. Remember her in The Rose, being Janis? And of course there was Beaches and Wind Beneath my Wings but her other stuff was better – Stay with Me, Do You Want to Dance and Beast of Burden. Check out her Mermaid antics on her live shows – bawdy and brilliant.


Carly SimonNo Secrets was the first proper record I ever had. My mum bought it as birthday present and playing it beforehand pretending Carly was Jeanette McDonald – I almost believed it! For a time there I had every single album and knew her songs off by heart. For a time there she and James Taylor were the highest earning celebrity couple in the world. You’re So Vain is simply timeless, and we all know someone who fits the song!


Chrissie Hynde – all attitude and hair, the shirts and the leather pants. She was like Blondie, but scary. The Pretenders were the archetypal rock n roll band – excess and death and songs to break your heart. Brass in Pocket, Talk of the Town and not so long ago the tear jerker, I’ll Stand by You. Chrissie sang from the heart, beneath that dark, mysterious fringe.


Grace Jones – I loved Grace. She was black silk and leather, amazing clothes and stunning performer. Remember the clip for Slave to the Rhythm? Graceful she was – sleek like a panther and as fierce. It was all about moving, her body, our bodies, a different rhythm for many of us. Black’s always been beautiful but never mores that with Grace. One of my girls was named for her.


Kate Bush – were you immune to Wuthering Heights? Could you believe what you saw on Countdown – the red dressed, wild haired girl prancing across the moors just like Cathy must have? But she had so many brilliant songs in her – Cloudbusting, Breathing and Babooshka. The clips were impressive too. God, such a talent!


Madonna – well you just can’t avoid this woman if you’re talking 70s-80s songbirds. She was the biggest eagle in the sky in the 80s and I did love Like a Virgin (the clip was stunning, well Venice & lions, how can you miss?) and Material Girl. She is the mistress of reinvention and you can’t fault her power and influence, even if she hasn’t done anything of much worth of late. I do wish she’d grown into her 50s with a bit more grace. (look at Blondie and Grace Jones in their 60s – amazing to behold)


Stevie Nicks – Fleetwood Mac were the band of the late 70s, so she was the singer. Can’t imagine life without Dreams, Rhiannon or Tusk (I know, instrumental). She was always the quintessential ephemeral floating fairy queen in those beautifully feminine dresses. Listen to Sara, you will cry. This was the woman who knew heart-ache and helped many of us cry our way through broken relationships.

Which women did you love? Who made an indelible mark on your life  – then and now? Music makes us who we are and these women shaped me, my taste in music and their songs marked many memorable stages of my life. I can’t hear Heart of Glass without thinking of one particular man! (images from google)

Crushes – then and now

September 12, 2011

Did you have a BIG CRUSH when you were a youngling? Pictures of movie and pop stars and sporting heroes on your walls? People you worshipped and adored, safe in your faraway devotion, knowing everyone else you knew had similar crushes. It was okay when we were young, but what about as we age, can you still have crushes? Well, why not actually? In these dreary times and when the world crushes down on you, shouldn’t you have someone to dream of, someone gorgeous to take you away from the mire and misery, someone who might inspire you to do better; be better?

Childhood crushes. It was Bowie and Queen, specifically Freddie Mercury who adorned my bedroom walls. Bowie was resplendent in his Aladdin Sane garb; Freddie lounging in a revealing cat-suit in a picture taken from Jackie magazine. I loved their music, adored their outfits, was faithful to them all my life, even when the pictures came down, I still bought their albums and could not understand my friends’ devotion to Davids Essex & Cassidy. I felt mature and sophisticated in my devotions.

I was also besotted by Mark Spitz: he of the seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics. I had pictures of him almost naked in his speedos and medals on the wall until my evil brother defaced them bringing down upon his head my mother’s extreme ire in response to my floods of tears. Spitz was darkly handsome, beautifully buff and a testament to determination and drive. His father had expected six gold medals, but at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, where Spitz was beaten by Aussie Mike Wenden in the 100m & 200m freestyle, thus crushing his dreams. But four years later Spitz prevailed, with a world record in all seven events. So he had it all: handsome, super fit and something of an over-achiever. The best sort of boy to be on a girl’s wall. In fact, a huge contrast to my effete creative musicians cheek by jowl there on my lavendar walls.

Then, closer to home was Andrew H. Six foot plus tall, mop of tawny hair, six years older than me, pink wet suit, gorgeous yachts, who moved with the stealth of a big cat. I had a crush on this man for six years, all through school, alongside several boyfriends. I worshipped from two yards away, desperate for each new sailing season to catch a glimpse, maybe get close enough: only managing about six inane words in six years. He’s a brain surgeon now, still sailing, still winning. I hope he never knew… By the time I’d got to uni fortunately I was over him.

Lifelong Crushes. I have loved Richard Gere all my life: from the first moment in An Officer and A Gentleman he was my main movie star man. Not really that tall, and slightly squinty eyes, but he was edgy and his smile was sort of sly and evil, full of sensual promise. He played a range of roles and did get his kit off a lot in his early movies: remember American Gigolo? He’s aged so well too, smile better than ever.

Other life-long movie star crushes: Robert Redford, since Butch Cassidy and especially as Jay Gatsby in that pink suit; Kevin Costner, even Waterworld and 3000 Miles to Graceland; Jeremy Irons, only gets better with age, but his voice was wonderful in Brideshead Revisited even if he was a little ‘wet’ then.

Two women need a mention here: Bette Midler, because I looked like her once and always loved her music and her bawdiness; and Grace Jones who gave androgyny a whole new meaning. How could you love Bowie and not love Grace? I just loved Slave to the Rhythm, that is one of the Music vid clips. She’s still going too. Outrageous and confident women, you have to love them.

Now Crushes. Now, as a less than impressionable older style person I still have crushes. Bill Nighy is my number one these days and, according to the papers, I am very much not on my own. I found him in Still Crazy and have been devoted ever since. I even keep some of the articles about him in the papers.  I fell in love with Jimmy Page during research about the early days of rock n roll, but the Jimmy of the seventies, not so much now. My God, wasn’t he just the most beautiful man? Had I been into Zeppelin as a youngster he’d had been up there on the walls next to Dave and Fred. I came to David Gilmour in the same way. Wasn’t he lovely when he was young? It seems a bit sad to find them now and fall in love with the past, but what the heck, we never get close to our crushes anyway, so does it matter?

Keep the flame burning, I say. It’s nice to think about why you find some people so utterly compelling, what you were doing when you were young and infatuated, why some people still do it for you. I’m listening to Grace as I type and feeling fine.  Nice to have a little fantasy in your life, a little magic from the gods of film, song and water.