Friday, 10 April 2015
Songs of Life: No 4
After art college I lived in a grimy house-share with dry rot infestations (and three other ex art college students) and a loo that froze in the winter. Probably to counteract the damp and filth, much time was spent watching (on terrible, early VHS) 1950s Hollywood musicals where everything was colour-heightened: sugar pinks, sky blue and the whiter than white-ness of Gene Kelly's teeth.
I had soundtrack tapes of Some Like it Hot, Danny Kaye films and of course Singing in the Rain in my Morris Traveler; played alternately with Underworld, Ravel and Salsa (had just discovered the wonders of Latin music in a bar in Holborn.)
All the gloom of stomping back from the dole office in Streatham could be wafted away by a few minutes of watching this piece of candy-floss choreography; and, after I finally nailed a job as a stylist assistant I would inflict my tapes on art directors and photographers at the various studios - made a change from the Eagles and J.J Cale.
On my desert island, I would finally have the time to learn the Charleston, and perhaps tap dancing if there happened to be a few flat rocks - with this playing in my mind.