Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gay Ballroom Dancers - William De Vries/Jacob Jason

Big difference from last season's reception to same sex Ballroom dancing.

I'm not a big fan of the posturing and prancing of ballroom dancing, same or opposite sex. But these two guys can dance and it was great to see how they had affected the judges. Nigel was much better behaved.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul & Mary dead at 72

Very sad to read that Mary Travers has died tonight. According to,

"The band's publicist, Heather Lylis, says Travers died at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut on Wednesday. She was 72 and had battled leukemia for several years...."

I've included two of my favourite PP&M songs; what I think of as the best cover of the Gordon Lightfoot classic, "Early Morning Rain" and an example of their protest music, "Day is Done" performed live on the short-lived Smothers Brothers show.

Peter, Paul & Mary were as much a part of the sixties for me as were the Beatles, Motown and protests. They sang beautifully about things that weren't beautiful; racism in "If I Had a Hammer" and war in "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."

They also had a sense of humour which they showed off in "Puff, the Magic dragon" and one of my fav's: "I Dig Rock and Roll Music", which I played over and over again on my sister Rita's record player (which the penny on the arm).

My condolences to her family, friends and fans.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Elton's Song (rare Elton John video)

Elton John, Elton's Song, 1981. Co-written by Elton and Tom Glad To Be Gay Robinson, this song about a gay school boy with a crush on a classmate was banned in several countries due to "homosexual content." This accompanying video, which may evoke Bronksi Beat's Smalltown Boy for you, was never aired at the time, although tabloids screamed "Elton's Gay (from JMG) Video Shocker!" In 1981 it was relatively unheard of for artists not to appear in their own videos, but despite the title, that may have had more to do with Elton's "I'm bisexual" stance at the time than video "artistry." The result is memorable for its day nonetheless.
"With your razor blade smile, I watched you playing pool, It's all around the school that I love you."

I never heard this song before and I was very touched. Coincidentally, I had just read in The Globe and Mail (yes, a newspaper) about a research study of homophobia in Canadian High Schools. The results so far aren't that surprising. We may have equal rights here; but there is still work to do to have equal respect - especially in that "land that time forgot": high school.

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