Rehna’s roundup (week commencing 9th January 2023).
Jeff Beck death
Musician Jeff Beck died. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with his music and so can’t write the fulsome tribute someone of his talent deserves. I did, however, read the many, many tributes of those who knew him, worked with him or admired his guitar prowess as fans. On a shallower note, I did notice among the many tributes, people sending condolences to his wife- but two different names were mentioned in the messages. I then read that like Henry Vlll, Beck married 6 times. Easy to get confused, I thought. On further investigation, I established that he was only married twice.
Social media can be a weird, unreliable place, kids. Always check for yourself.
The Golden Globes returned after a hiatus on the naughty step last year for, ostensibly, not being diverse enough (ie not having any African American members, although, of course they have plenty of other diversity). I’ve heard from ‘sources’ that, behind the scenes, there were other business reasons for the Globes not taking place last year but diversity was thought to play better in public as a reason.
Either way, the ‘fun Oscars’ needed to come back with a bang. They needed a sharp host who came out with at least a couple of memorable zingers that would go viral. In short, they needed a stinging Ricky Gervais type or a hilarious Tina Fey/Amy Fey type duo.
They had Jerrod Carmichael, unknown outside the USA and apparently not familiar with jokes. His opening monologue established that he was black. The rest of the evening established that he is gay. And that was it. Funny didn’t even enter the door of his act. Talk about second hand embarrassment – it was painful watching him. Everything he said sank like lead and he never quite recovered. If only he’d spent as much time selecting his jokes as he did his suits.
As someone who rarely watches television, I find the tv awards part tedious and only wait for the movie section. The organisers seem to have guessed this is an issue for some viewers, so, they craftily mixed the awards up. So, best actor in a drama (movie) came up mid show. It went to Austin Butler for Elvis (deservedly, imo). The emotive clip of him thanking the Presley family for “opening their memories and home” to him has, since been replayed many times over due to the sudden death of Elvis’ daughter. It may well become the defining moment of this awards season. Sad as it is, it’s better than last year’s Will Smith slap.
Lisa Marie Presley death
Lisa Marie Presley. Unlike Jeff Beck, I am much more familiar with the tumultuous life of Elvis’ only child. I’ve followed her ups and downs and dramas for a number of years and more closely in the past year as I’ve charted the huge success of the Elvis movie.
I’m hugely saddened by her death at only 54. As, it seems, are many people. It has hit a lot of people harder than they might have expected. As some Americans said on the Internet, “the Presleys and Kennedys are our royalty. She was a part of living history.”
Born to rock music’s greatest titan, Elvis Presley, ‘the king’, she entered the public consciousness as his little princess and, in some ways, remained that little girl in the public’s mind even into adulthood.
Although her own three music albums were only moderately successful, she was enormously famous throughout her life.
Despite the wealth and fame, however, that life was not always an easy one. She suffered the loss of her icon father at age 9, followed quickly by the deaths of her grandfather and great grandmother. Her 4 marriages, including one to Michael Jackson and another to actor Nicholas Cage, ended in divorce. She suffered a range of health problems as well as periods of drug addiction. And she had many legal and financial woes. Two years ago she lost her son, Benjamin, to suicide. On the rare occasions she was seen in public afterwards, her grief and sadness were palpable.
She had a striking physical resemblance to her father but also inherited many of his personality traits. One of them was her forthright way of answering questions in interviews. Her direct and candid responses are a breath of fresh air in an era of bland celebrity. (Check out her interviews on YouTube and compare them to the rare few interviews done by her father – both come across as open, honest, likeable and very modest).
Of the millions of stories written about Elvis, there is one that everyone agrees on; that he absolutely adored Lisa Marie, considering fatherhood his greatest achievement.
In her song Lights Out Lisa Marie wryly notes how there is a space in the backyard at Graceland beside the graves of her father and family members. Sadly, that space will now be filled.
Penguin Random House released the book ‘Harry Windsor and the todger tales’ – a spiteful journey through the seven deadly sins:
Envy (of his brother, the heir)
Wrath (he’s a furious little turnip)
Pride (and nuclear levels of entitlement)
Greed (lots of greed -give us ALL the money)
Sloth (he and Markle talk relentlessly about saving the world but have yet to do anything towards it)
Lust (sort of – frequent mentions of his frozen little ‘todger’ not least in icky contexts concerning his mother Princess Diana.
Gluttony (if not for food, certainly for punishment- no matter how mocked and ridiculed they are, Harry and Meghan cannot keep away from publicity and the media they profess to hate)
Due to huge publicity from that media and slashed prices, much has been made of the good sales of the book in its first week. The book has done well on release. The proof, however, will be in the sales in later weeks and whether the book has longevity. Princess Diana’s book with Andrew Morton sold 10 million. Selling a few hundred thousand to a population of 60 million in the UK then seems less impressive. A pdf copy is also now doing the rounds on WhatsApp and emails. So, let’s see.