From Madison Avenue to Gillian Hills
That hysterical Zou Bisou Bisou birthday party scene! The band (all Fender instruments present and correct) groove quietly on Dobie Gray’s—or Ramsey Lewis’ if you prefer—1965 smash The ‘In’ Crowd (of course). Megan, Don’s wife, gives it her best yé-yé on 16-year-old Gillian Hill’s 1960 poptastic smash—Zou Bisou Bisou. I always think of Robbie Robertson when I watch Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Why? He’s watchful, taking in the surroundings, rarely speaking. He’s also the creative one they all circle around, who somehow brings out all the others’ talents. And—mostly—keeps his council, because as both Abe Lincoln and Ronnie Hawkins said, in different ways, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
Dale Rogers & Trigger
Clint Black introduction on Songwriter’s Circle at the BBC: “This is a song really inspired by Roy Rogers, who I had the pleasure of gettin’ to know a little bit—great experience, recorded a song with him and got to spend a couple o’ years with him, off and on—going to a few award shows and bein’ nominated with Roy Rogers. And he said lots of great stuff—and his wife, too, Dale. A great lady. And the one thing that stuck out above everything else… she was kinda secretly hoping that Roy would pass first, because she really, truly, was afraid… that he might have her stuffed.”
The Voice, Saturday Nights. Favourite Judge: Will.i.am. Who knew he was so much fun? There’s almost a Dr Seuss-like quality to his looks, eyes scanning the other judges like a fawn in the forest. Quirky, impish, arrogance undercut by a winning vulnerabilty. Best Song Choice: Come Together rammed into Lose Yourself. One of the great songs of the Sixties b/w one of the great songs of the Noughties. Impressive that Judge Danny knew all the words and rapped along perfectly. Most Agonised Judge: The excellent Jessie J, taking the whole thing waaaay seriously.
Sade outearned any other touring British act in the world last year. Even Adele. Extraordinary. Under the radar, not courting press, just selling out a rare tour. I confess that the only time I’ve actually fallen asleep at a live gig was when I saw Sade at, I think, the Hammersmith Odeon in the Eighties. My wife had modelled dresses designed by her friend Sarah and Sade when they were at St Martin’s (the short-lived label was Lubel And Adu and the dresses were beautiful) so I guess that’s why we went. But, as mid-tempo ballad followed mid-tempo ballad, my eyes grew heavy. Nice & Lovely Songs, but not my speed.
Geek Patch Board
In this glamorous world of iPad and Pods and their gleaming curved surfaces and edges it’s always great to come across a piece of kit designed in the sixties that is still in use. Al Jazeera studios, South Bank, Gary Lineker photoshoot with Pal Hanson, always a pleasure to work with.