Saturday Odds & Sods: Songbird

Least Tern by Walter Inglis Anderson.

I had to overhaul this post when I heard the sad news about Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac. She died at the age of 79. I had no idea she was that old. I reckoned she’d joined the band as a teenager. People who do what they love often age well. Perhaps it’s because her birth name was Perfect. I am not making this up.

I saw Fleetwood Mac for the first time when Christine and Bob Welch fronted the band. She was the standout. She was obviously destined for big things.

The second time I saw them was at one of Bill Graham’s Day On The Green concerts at the Oakland Coliseum stadium. It was before Rumours, so Robin Trower and Peter Frampton headlined. One could already tell that the new lineup with Buckingham and Nicks was something special.

1992 was a good year for Democrats and Fleetwood Mac. The Clinton campaign used Don’t Stop as its theme song. It was perfect as it was written by Christine McVie née Perfect. What’s not to love about this clip?

I traded texts with an old friend after Christine’s death and we came up with this formulation to describe her contribution to Fleetwood Mac: She was the best musician in a band with Lindsey Buckingham and the best singer-songwriter in a band with Stevie Nicks. That’s something special.

RIP, Songbird. What a life, what a broad. She will be missed.

Christine McVie wrote this week’s theme song for Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 Rumors album, but you already knew that. It was the final song on side one of the LP.

We have two versions of the achingly beautiful Songbird for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a recent orchestral re-recording.

Now that we’ve honored Christine Perfect, lets visit Disambiguation City with two different songs titled Songbird:

We begin our second act with a segment about movies that are so bad that they’re good.

Bad Movie Lovers Unite: There’s a terrific article by Jason Bailey in Vulture about the history of bad movie lovers. I hadn’t thought about the Medved brothers’ books for years. I had a sneaking fondness for lousy movies because of The Fifty Worst Films of All Time and The Golden Turkey Awards.

Those books also inspired MST3K and its spinoffs. Quotes from MST riffers Frank Conniff and Bill Corbett are sprinkled throughout the article.

I enjoyed this trip down bad movie memory lane. It makes me almost forgive Michael Medved for his years as a right-wing pundit.

The last word of the segment goes to Frank Zappa with his ode to bad and cheap movies:

We move from bad movies to fake movies.

Fake Scorsese Movie: I had no idea until recently that there’s a Tumblr craze over a fake Scorsese movie. Here’s the fake poster for this phony film:

Great fake cast, man.

Marty is even in on the joke.

Where did I learn about Goncharov? In the New York Times of all places. Click here for the details.

The last word of our second act goes to Donovan with a song used in Goodfellas:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Gloria Grahame was one of the finest actresses of her era; even winning a supporting actress Oscar for The Bad and the Beautiful. Despite that and her beauty she never became a full-fledged movie star.

In 2017, Annette Bening played La Grahame near the end of her life in Movie Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool.

Did I say Liverpool? Isn’t Penny Lane a place in Liverpool?

The Movie List: For the first fifteen years of his career, Dana Andrews was a big star who appeared in big movies. He drank his way out of stardom and spent the last half of his career working in low budget movies and episodic teevee.

My Top Ten Favorite Dana Andrews Movies

  1. The Best Years Of Our Lives
  2. Laura
  3. Ball Of Fire
  4. The Ox-Bow Incident
  5. Boomerang
  6. Where The Sidewalk Ends
  7. A Walk In The Sun
  8. Fallen Angel
  9. While The City Sleeps
  10. Beyond A Reasonable Doubt

FYI, Dana Andrews is one of Dr. A’s favorite movie stars. She has better taste in actors than in husbands…

Best Of Letterman:  Actress Teri Garr was one of Dave’s favorite guests on his NBC show. Here’s one of her many appearances.

Saturday GIF Horse: Ready for more Marty? You have no choice. Get ready for a barroom brawl, wise guy-style. Apparently, it *was* a laughing matter.

Goodfellas GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Coffin Nail Corner: Chesterfield was a Philip Morris brand. They loved celebrity endorsements. In this case we have four baseball hall of famers in two ads: Bill Dickey, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial.

I paired BoSox great Ted Williams in a 2018 separated at birth segment with actor Robert Ryan. It’s time for a SAB flashback:

While we’re on the subject of baseball.

Gaylord Perry, R.I.P. This Facebook post says it all:

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

Saturday Closer: We come full circle with a 1983 set by Fleetwood Mac. RIP, Christine McVie.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Christine Perfect McVie: