Saturday Odds & Sods: Dirty Boulevard

Elevated Columbus Avenue, New York by Gifford Beal.

Lou Reed wrote this week’s theme song for his 1989 album, New York. I’m on the record as thinking Reed was a better musician than a human being. New York is a good example of this dichotomy. It’s one of his best albums complete with catchy songs and razor-sharp insights.

We have two versions of Dirty Boulevard for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live version with David Bowie.

The spelling of boulevard in listings of the song is erratic. Sometimes it’s spelled out, other times it’s abbreviated. That concludes this abbreviated comment on abbreviation.

Let’s try and clean up before jumping to the break.

While we’re still dirty, here are two more songs with dirt in the title:

I’ve been blogging hurt this week so we’re going to keep our second act as terse as a tick. That may not work as well as the Ratherism “as tight as a tick,” but I’m no Dan Rather. Hell, I’m not even Roger Mudd.

Our lone second act segment involves first family pets. The Bidens have brought their two dogs and a cat to the White House after four grim and petless years. They’re pikers compared to Grace Coolidge who had a veritable menagerie including a raccoon. I wrote about the Coolidge pets back in 2015. It’s one of the ironies of history that the vivacious Grace was married to dour Calvin. It makes me wonder if there was a dowry…

All The President’s Pets: Matthew Dessem ranks 200+ years of presidential pets in a hilarious article at Slate.

I’m not sure I agree with his ratings. FDR’s dog Fala was clearly the best presidential pet, not second best to Herbert Fucking Hoover’s fucking possum. As far as I know, Fala was the only first pet to be name checked in one of their person’s campaign speeches.

The Fala speech was a winner. It helped FDR defeat Tom Dewey. Dewey may have been a mustachioed stiff but even he had a pet: a dog named Jerry. I guess that made them Tom and Jerry…

We conclude our second act with a cat song. I’ve never had a mouser like the one in the Tull song below. But Oscar and Della once killed a bird and left the bloody beak on the kitchen floor. They weren’t hungry that night. Go figure.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth: You don’t hear as much about Game Of Thrones since its lame final season. That stops now. Not really but this week’s SAB involves New Orleans Pelicans player Steven Adams and Jason Momoa who played Khai Drogo on GOT.

Both of these blokes have some serious tattoos and I’m not talking about the character from Fantasy Island or even this Who tune:

The Classic Movie List: Elizabeth Taylor was one of the first child stars who went on to adult stardom. The word icon is overused but sometimes it fits. Elizabeth Taylor was an icon who never brought out my iconoclastic side. I thought she was smashing as opposed to smashable.

My Top Ten Favorite Elizabeth Taylor Movies:

  1.  Giant
  2.  Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
  3.  Suddenly, Last Summer
  4.  A Place In The Sun
  5.  Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
  6.  Reflections In A Golden Eye
  7.  National Velvet
  8.  Father Of The Bride
  9.  The Comedians
  10.  Cleopatra

Cleopatra is a camp classic. Richard Burton’s performance as Marc Antony is one of the hammiest in film history and that’s saying a great deal.

Saturday GIF Horse: We continue the Elizabeth Taylor theme with two GIFs from the original Father Of The Bride. Who wouldn’t want to have Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett as their parents? Sure, Spence was gruff and stingy, but he was a bona fide movie star.

Classic Film Wedding Presents GIF by Warner Archive - Find & Share on GIPHY

Wonderful Elizabeth Taylor GIF by Warner Archive - Find & Share on GIPHY

The last word of the segment goes to Brian Wilson:

Now that the Surf’s Up, let’s see what Michael Imperoli and Steve Schrippa are up to. Do they surf at the Jersey shore? Do I really care?

Talking Sopranos Moment: Tony Sirico who played Paulie Walnuts has yet to make an appearance on the podcast. But Michael and Steve love to talk about him behind his back.

Now that we’ve addressed Paulie’s phobias, let’s attend church with Dusty Springfield.

Random Weekly Benign Earworm: I don’t know where this one came from but it’s a good one. That’s right, it came from Memphis.

Here’s some lagniappe: the daughter of a preacher man’s version of this tune.

Let’s shut down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic: Joni and James together. It doesn’t get better than that.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to George Stevens, Elizabeth Taylor, and Montgomery Clift on the set of A Place In The Sun.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Dirty Boulevard

  1. cassandraisright says:

    as the guardian of a cat who this week FINALLY learned to kill the house mice he catches, I have to note that the current First Cat, Winston, is only Acting COTUS as he belongs to President Biden’s granddaughter Naomi. we continue to await the new First Cat news.

  2. christflora says:

    Nixon was the VP candidate on the 1952 Republican ticket, and name-checked his doggo Checkers, for those of you not alive when Nixon was running against Estes Kefauver!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checkers_speech

  3. shapiroout says:

    Ah the Fala speech, one of my favorites. It so captures what FDR could do as a politician — get the audience on his side, disarm his foe, ridicule his foe, and do it all with a smile on his face. Only Reagan came close to that ability and Reagan said he learned how to do it from FDR. But here’s the thing people forget about the Fala speech: it was a response to an accusation by Republicans that the Roosevelt administration was wastefully spending money (you know, all that dough they were giving to the guys out in the New Mexico desert). So rather than go into a harangue denial, Roosevelt seized on their insipid “fake news” of him sending a battleship to retrieve his forgotten dog and turned the entire issue into quicksand for the Republicans to flail in. Their response two days later was to act like they had never said any such thing.

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