I haven't been around LJ much lately because I was having trouble getting to it on my home computer. It's doing fine right now, so I don't know what was up or where the fault lay.
I also haven't been around because I saw Kingsman: The Secret Service
. Multiple times. I loved the movie on so very many levels, but especially all the shout outs from Michael Caine once again wearing Harry Palmer's glasses to entering through a tailor shop a la Man from UNCLE
to referencing individual Bond films and Get Smart
And I sort of got sucked into the fandom. How sucked in? I've written a fanfic series in under two months (begun on 2/23) which has more words than The Great Gatsby
. *shakes head* The last time I wrote something that length -- actually, 20,000 words shorter than I've hit to date -- it took me six months of sweat.
And because I'm writing mental backstories for characters, I've been trying to determine what kinds of music they listen to. One of them is a jazz aficionado, and I've been trying to include some of the jazz he would have heard on British radio in the 1970s which led me to Dudley Moore.
In the early 1980s, I started listening to his music from the 1960s and 70s including pieces he'd written (Sooz Blooz
is one of my favorites). My folks told me about seeing him in Play it Again, Sam
in the West End when we were living in London and going to hear his trio at a club.
He went to Oxford on an organ scholarship and earned his spending money by playing with Johnny Dankworth's group backing Cleo Laine. I can't imagine being proficient enough at 18 to play with one of the premier jazz men Britain's produced and one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. I do remember hitting a shop in Dupont Circle which carried foreign magazines and vinyl records (before there was anything besides vinyl). As I was buying my Manchester Guardian Weekly
and a copy of Marie Claire
(which was exclusively a French publication at that juncture), I saw a new album being promoted called Smilin' Through
and bought it on the spot. Dudley Moore and Cleo Laine recording together for the first time. It's a lovely album with some real high spots.
At the same time, Jonathan Miller had a series on PBS called The Body in Question
. I'd developed a completely separate crush on Dr. Miller when I caught a Canadian series on Cities
. People who'd been born and reared in a great city, talked about the changes they'd seen, the social context of their background and how it was reflected in the city, and showed off the gems that most people, especially tourists, don't hear about. The four episodes I managed to see were Dr. Miller on London, Germaine Greer on Sydney, Hildegard Knef on Berlin (still a divided city when it was filmed, and she'd been a teen there during WWII), and R.D. Laing on Glasgow. It got me reading Greer and Laing. Miller's episode introduced me to Sir John Soane's Museum
, one of my favorite places in London.
Anyway, in the episode of The Body in Question
dealing with the nervous system, Miller used Dudley Moore playing classical music to explain how we are able to memorize things physically. I found it today on YouTube, so I wanted to share.
Also, Dudley Moore playing with his trio on Australian Television in the early 1970s.
PS if anyone ever finds a link to the Cities series (or a way to buy it), please share. I've long wanted to see the other episodes.