Wednesday, June 08, 2005

yeah yeah

There is nothing to recommend the songs from Hair... FXH

We had this version in our house, ousting Strauss from the turntable.
My sisters found it at a Flea Market in Dandenong wandering round trinkets in the rain.
They went to the show with their boyfriends bringing back Be In posters that hung over my bed.
And we belted out songs in the Lounge-room and the Valiant,
us two youngest running through the entire album in the back of a station wagon on long trips into town,
and me even singing "I met a boy called Frank Mills" aged 10 for my Brownie Singing badge, with feeling.
And one day the record was left in the sun and warped.
and they placed it under the glass of a coffee table in the sun again for days to no avail.
Aquarius jumped. Donna slurred. Hair was lost.

Twenty years later I happened to be walking near Coles in Bourke St and saw it on CD - and bought it for my sister, a nostalgia trip. She burned a copy in turn, which is lucky apparently seeing how rare it is.
And I've only now found out it's a music and songs of recording - but having grown up with the quirks, it's the definitive one for me.

"We predict that most of the present cast of "Hair" will be bald before we hear the last of this show, and this should be added to your collection of great show albums that will last forever"

ABC Time frame
Hair in Australia  recordings

Comments: yeah yeah

The reason I don't like HAIR is not because I don't like musicals and / or "rock" . The reason I don't like Hair is because I do like musicals.

I think around the same time I saw "Fiddler on The Roof" and was going to the T. F Much Ballroom just around the corner from where I lived. Hair didn't cut it either way.

I must admit I never saw the original Hair all the way through. We found out that it had an interval and because it was so popular they were selling standing room tickets. If one mingled at interval in the foyer there was no checking of tickets on the way back in after the first half. And also no seat squabbles because of all the punters standing around the aisles anyway. I think it was up where the Metro venue is now.

So I've seen the original Australian cast do the last half twice but never seen professionals do the first half. I had to wait years for the senior primary school kids doing it to see the first half live. I think the kids saw it as a period piece but they sure had fun being hippies.
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at June 8, 2005 12:19 PM

Fair enough. I never saw it either.
If I had, I might feel differently about the songs, which were just in the context of a "found" record.
One sister claims she sang "Sodomy" around the house to shock my parents, must have gone over my head - which was lucky for the Brownie Guides, I guess.

Did see the Movie when it came out. Thought it was terrible. They were clearly playing Hippies too.
I've seen that there are various "Junior" versions of Broadway shows for Primary Schools - never thaought that HAIR would be there. Obviously I would have loved to have Been In it as an 11 year old.

I saw that "Fiddler" (Her Maj?)as a child - fabulous.
Posted by boynton at June 8, 2005 12:32 PM

- although "Tevje's Dream" gave me nightmares for a few days.
Posted by boynton at June 8, 2005 12:43 PM

I saw Fiddler on Broadway last year, with Alfred Molina playing Zero Mostel. Ugh, wrong.
Posted by laura at June 8, 2005 01:05 PM

I don't like Hair, and have a very compelling reason as to why not; I just don't. I can't say fairer than that.
Posted by Tony.T at June 8, 2005 01:12 PM

I saw the last one here at the Regent...
with Topol!

Regent was clearly the wrong space...
but once I thought of it more as a concert around TOPOL, I sat back (well forward really) and enjoyed it. Didn't see the VSO? production with Max Gillies, but heard it was good.
Posted by boynton at June 8, 2005 01:15 PM

A bald statement, Tony.

Guess you had to be there...
(boyntonville, early 70's)
Posted by boynton at June 8, 2005 01:19 PM

Balderdash, in fact.
Posted by Tony.T at June 8, 2005 05:05 PM

Oh well, I can leave discussion of musical merit to the taste police, while I'm happily singing along all day to melodic tunes with funny lyrics from the past. Joy.
My post is more about the memories that spin around a song than the island of infamy that HAIR might be consigned to.
(Still think the songs are pretty good though.)
Posted by boynton at June 8, 2005 05:31 PM

You shouldn't be too embarrassed. I often break into "Gunna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair". I have no logical explanation.
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at June 8, 2005 06:23 PM

FX - you saw the Melbourne cast of HAIR, there was an original Sydney cast all of whom had 18 month contracts (at which time it was still playing to 'full house'), and then the later Sydney cast which is where the elderly but boyish Reg Livermore took over the role of Berger the main character.
In the original Broadway cast, Diane Keaton sang Frank Mills - a poignant, wistful ditty.
The main thing about HAIR is it's place in TIME ( war and drugs), which is why revivals never made it. Perhaps an Iraq Schap rewrite.
Posted by Brownie at June 8, 2005 09:05 PM

FX - How about "I feel pretty?"

Yeah, Brownie, I think that's it. Some shows live and die by the 'zeitgeist'.
As for my own z, it was childhood. I suspect I'm more attached to the music than my older sibs. And the unwatched show, and the lyrics I never understood gave it the enduring charge of mystery.

Posted by boynton at June 9, 2005 11:28 AM

pretty and gay? only when you're a Jet and everything's free in america
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at June 9, 2005 07:39 PM

I thought it was "pretty and witty and bright!", myself...
was going to ask you if you ever sing "I am Woman"
a la Barry Crocker.
(Guess it would help if you were a Jet there too for the character-motivation on "Hear me Roar" )
Posted by boynton at June 9, 2005 07:50 PM

MARIA I feel pretty Oh so pretty I feel pretty and witty and gay
And I pity Any girl who isn't me today

I feel charming Oh so charming It's alarming how charming I feel
And so pretty That I hardly can believe I'm real
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at June 9, 2005 07:58 PM

ACT 11

Maria's Bedroom - 9.15 p.m.

MARIA (who is getting dressed up to meet Tony)

I feel pretty
Oh so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and bright
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight...

(From the household copy of Bernstein's WSS with Kiri)

also on the official site:

However the "Oringinal soundtrack" CD here has gay/day... Curious...

Posted by boynton at June 9, 2005 08:40 PM

the above quote was from the notes from the original 1957 Broadway show.

They obviously changed it for the movie where it is 6:00 p.m. in the bridal shop...

I'm only familiar with the stage version myself...
Posted by boynton at June 9, 2005 08:55 PM

mmh I just checked my 2 vinyl album copy of Bernstein, Carreras and Te Kanawa. You are right. No gay. mmh. Well Bernstein at least was known to be a teensey weensey bit gay at times. What about Jose? Maybe they changed the words?

btw I just love Jose singing it and that TV doco was so heart wrenching - he's a real sweetie.
Posted by Francis Xavier Holden at June 9, 2005 09:52 PM

Yes, I think it was the doco that done it for the original purchasers of this 2 (ahem) cassette album... (Shame about that - there is a bit of tape hiss happenin)
I enjoyed the doco too.

I should have checked more closely the original link which makes the stage/screen thing fairly obvious.

Wonder why they had to change it - as the original "night" implies she is looking forward to the evening...?
btw did you notice in the 1957 notes (ie to the bright/night vesrion) the synopsis reads:
"In her room, Maria is gaily preparing for her meeting with Tony (I feel Pretty)..."
Posted by boynton at June 9, 2005 10:02 PM

Loved West Side Story - saw it at a very young impressionable age. Gee Officer Krupke!
Also in the 'I Feel Pretty' category is Ann Margrets fabulous 'How Lovely To Be A Woman' in Bye Bye Birdie, where she is dressing in jeans and a sloppy jumper - at the time they were considered to be horrifying garments. The context is everything with this as well as HAIR.
I saw Sydney HAIR several times a week for 18 months. It crapped allover Melbourne HAIR, and it was crappy with the ageing Reg Livermore trying to play 'young'.
Marcia Hines was 16 and pregnant when she arrived. She conceived Deni/Donyale, at WOODSTOCK and never saw the guy again. She told me that herself. They both probably don't want you to know that.
Posted by Brownie at June 14, 2005 10:40 AM

Great stories.
(Mum's the word)

You saw HAIR "several times a week for 18 months" - more than some of the cast members, perhaps? ;)

Posted by boynton at June 14, 2005 01:48 PM

I should write a book.
re leonard Bernstein discussed above: his son was married to 'our' Heather Jellie the star of Lantana, the exopthalmic chick whose name I can't remember ( brain damage from massive Passive pot smoking in the sixties).
Posted by Brownie at June 14, 2005 08:50 PM

Kerry Armstrong, Brownie? I don't know what exopthalmic is, but gee that woman SHITS ME.
Posted by laura at June 17, 2005 03:52 PM

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