Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Repeating yourself; Dusty Springfield

The ingenious and industrious Marv Lachman has a funny piece on Mystery*File Blog tonight about how certain writrs repeat themselves. I remember when an English magazine did this to Jack Higgins. Higgins really repeated himself but I liked his early books anyway.

by Marvin Lachman

In clichesville, the equivalent of the gothic heroine is our old friend, the Private Eye – male variety. Frank Kane’s Johnny Liddell was a harmless example of the species – not vicious like Mickey Spillane but not possessing the social conscience of Mike Shayne of Lew Archer either. Recent reading of three of Kane’s books back-to-back showed that he “borrowed” liberally from himself. By the third book I had a feeling of déjà vu, and a fast rereading showed why, as the following quotes indicate. (NOTE: All page numbers are from Dell paperback editions.)


Poisons Unknown, page 63: “Gabby Benton was on her second cup of coffee, third cigarette, and fourth fingernail when Johnny Liddell stepped out of a cab. . . ”

Red Hot Ice, page 18: “Muggsy Kiely was on her third cup of coffee and her fourth fingernail when Johnny Liddlell walked into….”

Red Hot Ice, page 27: “Her legs were long, sensuously shaped. Full rounded thighs swelled into high-set hips, converged into a narrow waist. Her breasts were firm and full, their pink tips straining upward.”

Poisons Unknown, page 182: “The whiteness of her body gleamed in the reflected light from the windows. Her legs were long, sensuously shaped. Full rounded thighs swelled into high-set hips, converged into the narrow waist he had admired earlier in the evening. Her breasts were full and high, their pink tips straining upward.”

for the rest go here:

------Dusty Springfield

Last night I talked about swapping e mails with Jack O'Connell about various movies, tv shows and books we still care about even after many, many fads, movements and eras have come and gone. We both like Dusty Springfield's music very much and here's Jack writing tonight on the great Dusty herself.

"I was marginally aware of a couple of other ’50s-esque tunes by Dusty–“I Only Want to be With You,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’” and the Doris Day-ish (I always thought) “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.”

"Imagine my shock this week to discover that DS was a bisexual Irish soul singer from Ealing, England.

"Blame this, like so many things in my life, on insomnia. You’ve been there, certainly: It’s 3 a.m. and, giving up on any hope of dreaming, you’ve returned to the couch and the tube. You stumble onto Steve McQueen’s face and, of course, put down the remote. Pretty soon, you hear the familiar melody that, in your youth, was emblematic of everything you opposed–the muzakization of all that was genuine and visionary and original: “The Windmills of Your Mind.”

"But tonight, for the first time in your life, you’re not hearing “Windmills” as an anthem of easy listening brain rot. You’re not hearing it as prime fodder for a thousand lounge lizard piano men. You’re not even hearing it as a popular Carol Burnett Show punch line.

"Your ears don’t lie. You have crossed the Rubicon into fogy-dom. Yes, it’s 3 a.m., but this is no excuse. Admit it: You are digging the song. You are hearing its worth. You are letting it propel you backward into a perspective you didn’t think you could ever possibly possess.

"And so, for reasons you don’t fully understand, you start to do some research. "

for the rest go here:


Martin Edwards said...

Dusty was wonderful, the best British female singer of the 60s beyond a doubt.
'I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself' and 'The Look of Love' are all-time classics, but check out also the much less well known 'Long After Tonight Is All Over': terrific.

Todd Mason said...

Some of her more obscure recordings also presage the latter-day neo-pop artists, even given that they often will note her as an influence. Some of her odder songs sound more like their recent work than even such latter-day artists in similar modes as (Ms.) Sam Phillips, the one often heard on GILMORE GIRLS rather than the owner of Sun Records.

Yours for the new Beck album led off by a Zombies pastiche.

Todd Mason said...

Happily, by the time I knew DS as more than the voice of "The Look of Love," it was far less a stigma to be bisexual...pity she didn't get to enjoy that freedom more than she did.

Peter Rozovsky said...

The piece is not quite as funny as what S.J. Perelman did for Dan Turner in "Somewhere a Roscoe."
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Anonymous said...

I question the validity of anything Marv Lachman has to say.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I love the Shelby Lynne CD where she does all her songs. Not quite as distinctive as DS but enjoyable.