Category Archives: Big Fan
Bettie Mae Page (April 22, 1923 – December 11, 2008) I’ve posted a ton of photos of Bettie over the years. She is a mixture of sex kitten and girl next door, sultry and fun loving all at the same time. The 1950’s No. 1 pin-up queen. Bettie was a knock-out. If you’re not familiar w/ her stop reading this and look her up right now. Hers is a story of sex, religion, fame and fortune, high highs and low lows. It’s a mystery w/ a happy ending. These aren’t her most famous photos – in fact some I’ve never seen before. Bettie would have been 94 today. Happy Birthday Bettie!
Françoise Madeleine Hardy found immediate success with her first song “Tous les garcons et les filles”. As a leading figure of the Ye-Ye movement (naive pop songs sung mostly by beautiful young women. The named is derived from “yeah-yeah” popularized by The Beatles), Hardy “found herself at the very forefront of the French music scene”, and became “France’s most exportable female singing star”, recording in various languages, appearing in several movies and touring throughout Europe. With her natural beauty and charm, Francoise began modeling as well – becoming a French fashion icon as well as pop star. As the Ye-Ye movement lost steam, Francoise changed her approach, singing ‘grown-up’ songs, working w/ songwriters like Leonard Cohan and Serge Gainsbourg. She would go on to record many more LPs, collaborating w/ Blur in 1994 and Malcolm McClaren as well as Iggy Pop. Her music has been used in a ton of movies – most recently Wes Anderson’s Moonlight Kingdom (The female lead (Suzy) calls The Ye-Ye Girls From Paris (1962) her “favorite record album”, and it is the only album she packs when preparing to run away from home). And DAMN! if she’s not still gorgeous at 70.
Nicholas Drain “Nick” Lowe (born 24 March 1949) Nick Lowe was a tad older than the rest of the guys in the class of ’77. He’d already gained some fame w/ British pub rockers Brinsley Schwartz and by 1976 was the in-house producer for new punk label STIFF – whose motto was “If it ain’t Stiff it ain’t worth a fuck”. Nick would release the first Stiff single “So it Goes” b/w “Heart of the City”. Lowe would go on to produce his friends Elvis Costello and Graham Parker and the Rumor, among others and have hits of his own, scoring a Top 40 Hit w/ “Cruel to be Kind” in the US and a Top 10 UK hit w/ “I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass”. He also wrote the single “What’s so Funny ’bout Peace Love and Understanding” for his friend Elvis Costello. *Side Note: In 1979 he became Johnny Cash’s son-in-law by marring his step-daughter, Carlene Carter. The marriage would ended in 1990 but they all stayed on good terms. Johnny would even go on to record a few of Nick’s songs on his American Music series LP’s. Nick continues to tour and record regularly, most recently with Los StraitJackets.
Sly Stone (born Sylvester Stewart, March 15, 1943) He was young, handsome, and hugely talented, had a killer afro and a huge drug problem, but Jesus Christ, what the hell happened to Sly. It’s hard to imagine just how popular and influential Sly and the Family Stone were in the late sixties. It’s also hard to imagine how groundbreaking it was to be a multiracial funk band at that time. Sly along with Parliment-Funkadelic led the charge in late sixties early seventies funk explosion. S & the FS hits would include Dance to the Music, Stand, Hot Fun in the Summertime and Everyday People (to name only a few). more below
Then came the drugs (cocaine & PCP) and the concert no-shows. Live bookings had steadily dropped since 1970, because promoters were afraid that Stone or one of the band members might miss the gig, refuse to play, or pass out on stage from drug use. At many of these gigs, concert goers rioted if the band failed to show up, or if Stone walked out before finishing his set.
The 80’s saw Sly release 4 LPs under his name and the Family Stone moniker but w/ no original members and to limited success. A collaboration w/ George Clinton of Parliment failed to bring any hits. And then he vanished – sort of. It wasn’t until the Grammy appearance in 2006 that anyone really saw what became of Sly Stone. Sporting an enormous blonde mohawk, thick sunglasses, a “Sly” beltbuckle and a silver lamé suit, he joined in on “I Want To Take You Higher.” Hunched over the keyboards, he wore a cast on his right hand (the result of a recent motorcycle mishap), and a hunched back caused him to look down through most of the performance. His voice, though strong, was barely audible over the production. Stone walked to the front of the stage toward the end of the performance, sang a verse and then with a wave to the audience, sauntered offstage before the song was over. And that’s pretty much, that. Sly has sense sued is former manager receiving $5 million but continues to live out of his van in the Crenshaw neighborhood of LA. He appears occasionally but can’t really seem to make it through more than a song or two.