Morpheus on… Philips Records

After WW2, European electronics giant Philips decided to enter the record biz.

By that time, British recording giant EMI had SLIPPED as far as sound quality was concerned – their equipment being from the Thirties – so given Philips’ equipment was brand NEW, the newcomer managed to wrest the European distribution rights to American behemoth Columbia’s catalogue away from them.

This resulted in their enjoying a decade of ready-made, middle-of-the-road hits.

But as the contract’s end approached and Columbia made it known they intended releasing THEMSELVES when it did, Philips got off their arses and began trying to find TALENT.

Their best early signing was a folk trio called the Springfields. This comprised of Tom Springfield (Dion O’Brien) his sister Dusty (Mary) – and some other guy.

They had LOTS of hits around the turn of the Sixties, thus when they announced they were splitting up, a nation mourned.

But actually, it turned out to be a GOOD thing – Tom was a folk nut, while Dusty preferred SOUL.

And thus it was that Tom went off and discovered, then produced and wrote for an Australian folk group called the Seekers – who dominated the Sixties.

While Dusty hooked up with composer/producer/arranger Ivor Raymonde and between them, they gave Philips a series of belting soul hits that, along with numbers by failed US group the Walker Brothers (none of whom, like the Springfields, were actually named Walker) CARRIED Philips through the mid-Sixties.

Of course, all good things come to an end and like EMI, Decca and Pye, Philips lost the plot at the end of the Sixties (embarrassingly, they had to get EMI to press copies of a one-off novelty smash called “Cinderella Rockefella” in 1968) and fizzled out during the Seventies.

But given the Season, here is a now-forgotten but at the time HUGELY successful Christmas hit from the Springfields. Come with me to 1961…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3JFRLdmsoA

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Morpheus on… Netflix Pushes BACK Against #metoo

It had to happen.

When the Kevin Spacey story broke, Netflix’s knee-jerk reaction was to DUMP season six of the U.S. “House Of Cards” – AND the movie, “Gore”.

The latter – a biopic of Gore Vidal (also a predominantly gay man) – was in post-production, meaning most of the money had been spent and it was nearly ready for release.

However, the former had only just started filming its final season – but Netflix had caught a BREAK.

Mirroring an earlier season-closer, season five had ended with F.U. on the OUTSIDE and C.U. in the Big Chair – and she had looked right down the camera and said, “MY turn!”

Thus many pointed out that the show could easily continue WITHOUT Spacey. And Netflix have now CONCEDED the point.

“House Of Cards” will RETURN – and even “Gore” may get released one day.

And so they should. Here’s the thing; while Spacey might have played the central character of the series, dumping the ENTIRE SHOW would have meant destroying an entity that provides work for a dozen other lead actors, a couple of dozen supporting actors, many more Background Artistes (extras) – plus a couple of HUNDRED people BEHIND the camera.

Writers, directors, designers, musicians, plasterers, painters, drivers, grips, camera operators, sound engineers, lighting engineers, honey-wagon drivers, doubles, voice coaches, stunt artists, editors, etc., etc., etc.

And while Spacey might have been naughty – they did NOTHING wrong.

Nor did the studio execs – who had millions invested in this project, at a time when Hollywood is STILL reeling from the effects of the ’08-9 Crash.

Plus millions of viewers, who had invested FIVE YEARS OF THEIR LIVES in the saga.

Imagine if the C.E.O. of G.M. were suddenly discovered to have a purple past – would millions of Chevys, Buicks and Caddies get recalled and CRUSHED? Of course not.

The offender would be put out to pasture – or stud – and a replacement found. Then business would carry on as usual.

Likewise, if an eighty-year-old woman suddenly announced Walt Disney had… …you get the picture. Snow White would be SAFE.

These days, seemingly half the men in showbiz look like being outed by the end of the year – but you cannot dump half THE BUSINESS as a result.

In any case, I know of ONE man who has a SLEW of accusers ranged against him – and HE still has a job.

I am speaking of one Donald J. Trump…

Morpheus on… God Doth Not Maketh That – Sony Does

Religion is like Commerce – both have spread through our species like Cancer.

However, while Commerce is based on Technology – and Technology is based on Science – and Science is based on provable, repeatable Facts…

…Religion is based merely on myths, superstitions, legends and folk-tales. In short, Stories.

Thus, long-term, religion doesn’t have a prayer – so to speak.

Morpheus on… Why HMG Is Pushing Brexit

In a word – BRUSSELS.

First, an explanation of HMG for my foreign readers – and naïve Brits.

The UK is a ONE-PARTY state. It has two wings, Labour and Tory (left and right). And for the last century one of them has always been in power, with the other providing “opposition” – except IT NEVER DOES.

And thanks to a hundred years of GERRYMANDERING (? – Wiki it) this single party can and often does rule with little more than forty percent of the popular vote – while for a party to overturn its power would require SIXTY-odd percent.

Which is why, in living memory, the only two serious attempts to do so both ended in fiascos (the Gang Of Four in ’87 and Cleggy in ’00).

Thus HMG RULES – and seemingly will continue to do so for ANOTHER century.

But back in ’73, Ted The Teeth dragged Britain (without a referendum or any such nonsense) into what was then called The Common Market. Initially just a deal which would see easing of border restrictions regarding commerce, it soon merged Britain into the European Economic Community – then finally, the European Union.

And all the time, POWER LEECHED from Whitehall to the afore-mentioned seat of Europe – which, following the collapse of Communism, steadily grew larger.

Then came the Brexit Referendum.

Elsewhere in these ramblings, I have droned on about why the Leave Campaign succeeded. It is the same reason Trump is now US President.

FEAR – following a year of foreign terrorism which erroneously convinced the citizens that strengthening their borders would STOP it (Russia, Mercer, Farage, Bannon et al only INFLUENCED the votes – it was Paris, San Bernadino, Orlando, Nice and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray wot DONE it).

This is clear from the number of voters on both sides of The Pond who LIED to the pollsters over which way they were voting/had voted.

And now America has to wait until the Orange One gets NAILED by Robert Mueller (Sam The Eagle out of The Muppets) to LOSE him.

Or the Republican Party develops a SPINE and THROWS him out.

Or the US Congress invokes the 25th Amendment (he is hypomanic, with a side of narcissistic personality disorder – thus unfit for office).

Or him and Fatboy Kim start WW3 – in which case, Brexit will hardly MATTER.

But Britain is theoretically LUCKIER. All she has to do is look at the MONUMENTAL CATASTROPHE Brexit spells for her; the undoing of 43 years of trade deals, the re-imposition of the channel border, the decimated POUND and the myriad problems it will create for businesses, tourism and expat residents of Britain AND Europe.

Not to mention in the NEXT Scotland Referendum – they probably WILL leave us this time. Even LONDON has considered it.

So WHY OH WHY is HMG determined to push this nightmare THROUGH? And how come, despite his recent triumphs against Leggy May even CORBYN is insisting on it?

After all, HMG has no MANDATE – one point eight percent is hardly a significant majority. And there were enough dodgy dealings (the above-mentioned Russian interference, Mercer and his companies – and a bogus promise of 350 million quid a week to the NHS) in the lead-up to the vote to justify nulling the whole thing.

The reason can ONLY be POWER.

As described above, it is THAT which has been slowly devolving to Belgium – and Whitehall wants it BACK.

And they clearly do not care if Britain’s ordinary citizens get F**KED in the process…

Morpheus on… The Saint (2017 TVM)

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” L.P. Hartley.

And this fact means that any attempt to lift the Saint from the period his books were written (’29-ish to ’63-ish) to the present, is doomed to failure.

But “The Saint” (2017 TVM). has a damn fine go at it. Indeed it owes more to the books than the various small and big screen outings that have peppered the years.

For a start, Simon’s on/off girlfriend (live-in; advanced for the time) from the early books – Patricia Holm – features strongly. And Rayt Marius appears (somewhat younger than the original character). While Fernack turns up and even Teal is referenced (but sadly, not seen).

Templer is played by stubbly-chinned Adam Rayner. Thus far, after a Shakespearian background, he has starred in the short-lived mini-seasoned “Tyrant” (from the same stable as “Homeland”) and featured in “Notorious” (another cancelled mini-season series).

Pat is played by the gorgeous Eliza Dushku. American, with Albanian, Danish, Irish, German and English roots, she has been around for a quarter-century (despite only being 36). She is currently dancing around the edge of “Bull” as his love-interest.

Also featured are Ian Ogilvy (now 64) who played the Saint in the Seventies reboot series. And Sir Roger Moore, who co-produced this effort and starred in (and occasionally directed) the classic Sixties series, has a tiny cameo; aged 86, this was fittingly his last film rôle.

The music is more than adequate – and includes the musical signature written by Charteris himself. And in a cheeky touch, the theme is also Templar’s ring tone!

The direction is fine and the editing tight. The swish international locations hide the modest budget. The action scenes are well performed – particularly by Eliza. And the dialogue occasionally crackles. So all in all, a worthy effort. Well worth a look if you are in an undemanding and naustalgic mood.

But what if you are not?

Well, the film does have its problems. Like the “goofs” – Simon fires around twenty bullets at a chopper from an automatic handgun without a reload – and if the gold bricks featured near the film’s start were real, they would weigh far more than they clearly do. And the whole enterprise is just a little lame.

But then, this was never intended as a feature film. It was made in 2013 as a TV pilot and when it (deservedly) failed to get picked up it languished for a couple of years, before having extra footage (filmed in Romania) added – to turn it into a TV movie.

However, these days TV movies are passé – and it was only when Sir Roger fell off the twig that the film finally emerged through various digital media.

According to Wiki, the film runs 116 minutes. But IMDb lists it at only 91 mins – and that is the version which is currently available free, on YouTube.

With English language, scope and stereo, the quality is quite good – so enjoy!

Morpheus on… F For Fake

So we are to believe a painting that sold in 1958 for forty-five quid is now worth a hundred million bucks? SERIOUSLY?

The artwork in question is called “Salvador Monday” and is supposed to have been painted by Leonardo DiCaprio. Here it is…

I have questions…

Like, if the artist was a genius and scientist – how come the image in the globe he is holding is not inverted?

Plus, why has no-one noticed the subject has his fingers crossed – the universal symbol for LIE?

And finally – the model is clearly the young PETE TOWNSHEND.

Morpheus on… The Right Time To Discuss Gun Control

“Following the tragedy at [place-name of latest American mass shooting] this is not the time to discuss gun control.”

Oh, I disagree – I think it’s the PERFECT time.

Let’s begin with the fact that in some states, you can go into a diner openly TOOLED UP – but should you light a CIGARETTE after your meal, you’ll be treated like you just took a DUMP on the table.

And let us continue with the fact that, in America, organisations like ISIL and Al-Qaeda are understandably BANNED – yet the NRA continues unabated. Which is ironic, considering the number of Americans who have been killed by terrorists is DWARFED by the number who have been killed by…other Americans. And that includes “9/11” (11/9).

Then we can carry on with the fact that private gun-owners justify their ownership of these lethal weapons on the grounds that they need them for DEFENCE. This despite the fact that, even in America, home invasions are very RARE – and of those few who suffer one, even FEWER are able to reach their weapons. American criminals are not TOTALLY stupid – they’re fully aware they are living in the Land Of The Gun…I mean Free.

No, the fact is the handful of people killed in defence is miniscule compared with the COLLOSSAL number killed every year with legally-held guns in domestic incidents, road-rage attacks, neighbour disputes, accidents (including kids finding one and blowing little Jimmy away, thinking it was a toy) – never mind atrocities by nut-jobs like Stephen Paddock.

As Brits, we suffered TWO of these incidents; the first was in Hungerford, in 1987, the second in a SCHOOL in Dunblane, in 1996. That was ENOUGH – we BANNED private ownership of guns. And have had NO such incidents since.

Meanwhile in Australia, just two months after Dunblane, they too had a mass shooting in a place called Port Arthur. They took the same action as us – with the same result.

YOUR turn, America.