Monday, May 11, 2009

YouTube Gems Volume 7

I haven't put anything up here in a while because I have been busy with other writing. So, why not a few YouTube vids that have caught my attention recently.

In 1955 Gene Kelly starred in a film called It's Always Fair Weather. Certainly not a box office hit or as famous as his other song and dance hootenannies, but the show has on of the most incredible sequences you'll ever see. Gene Kelly tap-dancing on freaking roller skates.

Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali was a bit nuts. The word eccentric doesn't begin to cover his antics. But he was amazing. Check out his work. Not the melting clock nonsense or the Lobster Telephone, try Swans Reflecting Elephants or The Face of War. Brilliant. Here Dali was a guest on the classic TV show What's My Line.

Ricky Jay is a master magician. He is also a talented writer and knowledgeable show bidness historian. I'm a fan of his books as they cover the history of the odd and bizarre. In the stacks of the J-Dub Memorial Library you'll find Jay's Journal of Anomalies, Dice: Deception, Fate and Rotten Luck and Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women.His skills and patter are really entertaining.

When it comes to theatrical freaks, few can top Prince Randian. He was a chap that was just a torso. No arms or legs. He was sometimes known as The Pillow Man or The Human Caterpillar. Believe it or not, Prince Randain was married and had five children. He was quite capable. See him fire up a cigarette with just his mouth from the film Freaks.

Extra tidbit: Freaks was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years due to "shocking content."

And finally...

Just watch John Lee Hooker work his mojo. I saw John at the Seattle-based Bumbershoot festival in 1992. I was 17 and already obsessed with the blues. Sing it John...

Good night and good luck.



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