Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Roxy Music Album Covers, As Ranked (in Inverse Order) by the Intensity of the Model's Relationship With Bryan Ferry

Manifesto (1978) Model: They're just mannequins.

Flesh + Blood (1980) Models: Apparently, no one knows who they are. They were just models hired by the photographer, and the cover was designed by Peter Saville with no input from Ferry.

Roxy Music (1972) Model: Kari-Ann Muller. No relationship with Ferry that I can find, although she later married Mick Jagger's little brother.

Country Life (1974) Models: Constanze Karoli and Eveline Grunwald. Incredibly, had no personal relationship with Ferry other than to help him translate some lyrics into German for the song "Bitter-Sweet."

Stranded (1973) Model: Marilyn Cole. Ferry had noticed her when she was Playboy's Playmate of the Month for January 1972, and they dated briefly after the shoot. She is now a boxing writer. No, I am not making that up.

For Your Pleasure (1973) Model: Amanda Lear. She was briefly engaged to Ferry, according to Wikipedia, with the affair apparently starting after she had been asked to pose for the cover. This was all in between affairs with Brian Jones(she was the inspiration for "Miss Amanda Jones" on Between the Buttons) and David Bowie, and she also served as a longtime muse for Salvador Dali. Also, may have been born male, which if it's true, the surgeons did a good job.

Siren (1975) Model: Jerry Hall. During the cover shoot, Ferry gallantly held an umbrella over the 19-year-old's body to keep her blue body paint from melting off. She fell for it. Five months later, Ferry proposed to her. The following year, Mick Jagger invited the two of them out for dinner, and later chased her around a Ping Pong table trying to steal a kiss until Ferry ran him off. But in 1977, with Ferry away on tour, Jerry found herself at Studio 54, seated between Mick and Warren Beatty. Mick won, and Jerry dumped Ferry. He never spoke to her again.

Avalon (1982) Model: Lucy Helmore. You can't even see her face, but she was the keeper: She married Bryan Ferry in 1982, and they had four sons together. (Lucy, by the way, is not the dancing socialite in the "Avalon" video.) One of them, Otis Ferry, is a pro-hunting activist in Great Britain. I wonder if he hunts falcons.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Wrath of Cons

Mark and I started watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan the other night. It was especially interesting to me because I had never seen any of the original Shatner-Nimoy group of Star Trek movies. Nor have I seen any episodes from the original Shatner-Nimoy series. I haven’t seen the recent J.J. Abrams reboot movie, either. Nor have I seen any episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Or any of the feature films therefrom. Or Star Trek: Enterprise. Or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. If there are any other iterations of Star Trek, I haven’t seen them either.

I had heard that The Wrath of Khan was the best of the Star Trek movies, but to me it didn’t seem like anything more special than an episode from a TV series. Yes, Shatner is kind of a genius, and the young Kirstie Alley as the Vulcan apprentice captain is pretty easy on the eyes. Montalban has a great time with Khan, whom he had played on the original series and agreed to portray again for the meager sum of $100,000.  But every time there was an explosion or the Enterprise got hit by some sort of enemy fire, there was just a puff of white smoke and the crew sort of threw themselves across the room. Maybe it gets better, but it felt pretty cheesy to me.

One thing that struck me was that the film featured not one, not two, but three actors who had recently played killers on Columbo. William Shatner was a murderous actor, Leonard Nimoy was a murderous doctor, and Ricardo Montalban was a murderous ex-bullfighter. That has to be a record, no? What other film stars three washed-up alpha males?

And we haven’t even finished watching it. Maybe Robert Culp shows up as a Klingon in the last reel.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nine Tonight

To the best of my knowledge, there were never more than about five people in Wings, which brings up the question of why there are nine suit-clad figures with cutesy pointing-gun fingers on the cover of Band on the Run. The answer is that Paul McCartney wanted to mix in some of the stars of the day in addition to the band members, as sort of a low-rent Sgt. Pepper's cover, for what he called "a bit of a laugh." A very little bit.

Unfortunately, old Paulie's conception of who is and who isn't a star is probably quite different from yours or mine. The only really recognizable face on there belongs, at the top, to Schlitz Light spokesman James Coburn. The others are from left to right:

Michael Parkinson A Thames talk-show host who supposedly agreed to appear on the cover in exchange for an interview with McCartney. McCartney didn't give him the interview until 2001.

Kenny Lynch British singer and game-show host who had a hit in the U.K. with "Up on the Roof"

Paul McCartney Bassist for Wings

Clement Freud (with beard) Broadcaster, writer chef, Liberal politician and grandson of Sigmund

Linda McCartney (sans beard) Keyboardist for Wings

Christopher Lee Horror-movie staple

Denny Laine (kneeling) Former Moody Blue, jack of all trades for Wings. His government name is Brian Hines.

John Conteh Liverpudlian light-heavyweight boxer

Don't let the cover dissuade you from listening to the album, though. It's real good.