Bland #Blondie ?

In Dave Marsh’s book ‘The Heart of Rock & Soul’ 1001 greatest singles ever made: Bobby Bland gets listed 6 times . I had nothing by him in my collection so I picked up a best of & loved it. I was familiar with Paul Butterfield’s version of I Pity the Fool & Driftin’ Blues so it was great to hear the originals. A great voice, great engineering & excellent songs.


branch blue down

From Bland we go to Blondie’s first album. This 1977 lp was such a moment in my life I’ll deal with the rest of my Blondie collection next week. I was living on the east coast – Sydney. I had been getting gay magazines via mail from Toronto. One of those was Mandate, which had a section about music & there was a review of this Lp there. We had one record store in Sydney, Cape Breton and they had no idea of how to get this album. So on a trip to Halifax I visited a record store there & found it.

The cover picture was very Beatles/Rolling Stones so I was expecting them to live up to that. They did. The music is propulsive pop with an ironic edge. I must have played it twenty times within the the first two days on my friend’s record player. He was bowled over by it too.


bare branch bridge

I can’t pick a favorite track. They brought such a retro sensibility to the table without mocking the source. Man Overboard then Rip Her To Shreds always make me happy. I was already into Talking Heads & Pattie Smith but this was something quite different from either of those groups. It was so good even my blues-loving friends liked it.


brown roots

When I moved to TO a few years later I saw Blondie at the ElMocombo – they were still bubbling under. I loved the music but was a little let down by Harry on stage – I was expecting someone a little more animated. More like say, Nina Hagen, who I’d also seen live around the same time.

If you have never heard this lp: get it. A timeless classic that took girl pop to places that the likes of Katy Perry only dream of reaching.



Jenny had silver stars. She stuck them on the Christmas tree on the front of the card. She stuck them on the inside of the card all around the Merry Christmas Uncle John.

Josh had the crayons. He had drawn the Christmas tree and now wanted to add another present under the tree.

“Uncle John has enough presents,” Jenny pushed him away.

“Nobody get enough presents. Do they Daddy?” Josh asked his father.

“Nobody gets enough stars do they Daddy?” Jenny said loudly to drown Josh out.

“I’m going to make another card then, and put on it all the presents I want to give.” Josh pushed the card aside and folded another piece of paper. “First I’m going to make another tree. Uncle John says no one gets too many cards.” Josh made a face at his sister.

“A card from each of you will be enough,” their Dad laughed.”After all we have to leave room for cards from other people.”

“He still has my Thanksgiving card on the wall by his bed. I know. I saw it.” Jenny pouted.

“When?” Josh asked.

“When we went to see him the last time. You didn’t come. You had a cold and Mom didn’t want you to make the whole world sick.”

“Would not make the whole world sick.”

“Would too. That’s what Mom said. Isn’t it Daddy. Josh makes the whole world sick.” She stuck her tongue out at him. “As sick as he makes me.”

“I think she meant it might make John sick. Some people catch germs easier than others. John is like that.”

“That’s why he is in the hot spices.” Jenny said proudly.

“Hospice. Uncle John is in a hospice.”

“Hospice.” Josh repeated and stuck his tongue out at Jenny.

“All done!” he took his finished card to his dad. “Do you think Uncle John will like it?”

“I’m sure he will.”

“Needs stars. Lots of stars.” Jenny said over her Dad’s arm as he looked at the new card.


March 26 – Thursday 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam – Supermarket – 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto


April 26, 2015 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto.


May 7 – Thursday – 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 1 finals – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto –


June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC


(2015 registration posted but details not posted yet. I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville


register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

June 27, Saturday – 7:00-  Feature: Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto


September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice




the yard sale went on anyway

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


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