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Showing posts from February, 2022

Sally Kellerman - An Obituary

Sally Kellerman – Actress, singer Born June 2, 1937; died February 24, 2022    Sally Kellerman, who has died aged 84, was an actress who came to prominence with her bravura turn in M*A*S*H*. (1970), Robert Altman’s adaptation of Richard Hooker’s Korean War set novel. Kellerman played head army nurse Major Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan, a text-book study of uptight efficiency and repressed sexuality that was in direct conflict with the laidback anarchy that prevailed elsewhere.    This was relayed in two scenes that made Hot Lips the butt of elaborate pranks. The first saw her exposed to a gathered throng when the tent she was showering in was ripped asunder. The second saw her liaison with Robert Duvall’s similarly tightly wound surgeon, Frank Burns, broadcast to the camp on loud speakers in an incident that provided her nickname.     Despite her character being on the receiving end of such chauvinistic antics, Kellerman had the last laugh, when she was nominated for an Oscar. She also

Another World is Possible: Aberdeen People’s Press and Radical Media in the 1970s

‘KEEP ON FIGHTING’ was the very first front-page headline of Aberdeen Peoples Press, the fortnightly community newspaper founded in 1973, and which ran until 1984. Priced at an economy busting 5p, this DIY alternative to millionaire-owned tabloids announced its agenda with a boldness born on its own doorstep.   This was clear from the words ‘says Mrs Simpson’ typed beneath the headline next to a black and white photograph of a local resident who looked a far cry from the earnest image of the era’s young radicals. In terms of making a statement, this calculated alliance of word and image demonstrated exactly how much this new publication was by, for and of those after whom it was named.   This exhibition of archive material from APP is presented by the Aberdeen based Peacock Visual Art, the ‘printmaking powerhouse’ founded in the same era. The connection is telling. Curated in association with the University of Aberdeen Special Collections, the selection of posters, photographs and fron

Life’s a Riot – Reading the Writing on the Wall

Liverpool Rising   ‘LIVERPOOL LIKE BRISTOL 1980 - RISE UP!’   No-one seemed that bothered by the chalked on words scrawled on a wall in the centre of town. That’s if they even noticed them as they bustled past on that busy week day lunchtime. The words were easy to miss if you weren’t looking for them, but for those who knew what was going on, and others like me whose eye accidentally caught them, they read like a call to arms.    I’d left school that summer, and had stumbled into a Youth Opportunities Programme with British Rail for £23.50 a week. The YOP scheme had been set up so Thatcher could massage the dole queue figures down to below the million they really were. I spent most of my £23.50 at Probe, the punky-hippy record shop where I’d probably just been when I saw the chalked on words, which stopped me in my tracks.   That April in Bristol there had been what came to be known as the St. Pauls riot, which happened after police raided the Black and White Café on Grosvenor Road in

High Rise, Low Life – Mary, Mungo and Midge in Paradise

Going Up   Sheil Road flats were considered to be the best high rises in Liverpool when me and my mum moved into the 16 th floor of Kenley Close. Kenley Close and the other two blocks beside it that made up Sheil Park – Kenley Parade and Linosa Close - went up in the mid 1960s, around the time I was born. We were allocated the flat at the start of 1982, which meant we could move out of the temporary hostel we’d been put in a few weeks before Christmas.   That was after the house I’d grown up in had been sold. The house was next to Anfield Cemetery, with my back bedroom overlooking the gravestones that loomed in the moonlight as I read in the dark by the window. The sale was part of the deal after my mum and dad’s divorce came through, which stipulated the house couldn’t be sold until I left school. Unfortunately for us, it all went through when the council was on strike, and we couldn’t be rehoused till they went back to work.    If I’d had any balls I would’ve moved out and found a fl

Don’t Talk to Me About Heroes! - Can, Happy Mondays, and Class War in the International Kosmische Underground

I’m So Green – Do It Better   The first time I heard Can was when their extended wigout, Mother Sky, soundtracked a pivotal scene in Jerzy Skolimowski’s 1970 film, Deep End. As John Moulder Brown’s infatuated adolescent Mike stalks Jane Asher’s swinging swimming pool attendant Susan to a Soho nightclub, clips from the track by the German purveyors of inner space give the increasing desperation of Mike’s obsession its pulse.    As Mother Sky plays, Mike moves from the foyer of the club to a hot dog stand to a prostitute’s flat before doing a runner onto the underground with a life-size cut-out of a Susan looky-likey lifted from outside a strip club under his arm. This is accompanied by the track’s screeching guitar frenzy that lends the scene even more urgency, driven even more by the pummelling insistence of bass and drums that go with it.   I was twelve when I first saw and heard all this in Skolimowski’s now cult classic, staying up late one Sunday night in the summer of 1977 for the