Friday, 27 April 2007

STOP PRESS - Broadway leading lady joins The Inspirations Project

Soon! I promise. Soon I won’t shy away from publishing the first instalment, but for now I am very pleased to announce that Broadway leading lady Susan Egan has joined The Inspirations Project.

Susan is possibly best known for originating the (Tony nominated) role of Belle in Disney’s stage production of The Beauty And The Beast and also voicing the character of Meg in the animated feature Hercules.

Susan has also played leading roles on Broadway in State Fair, Triumph Of Love, and Cabaret, directed by Sam Mendes, where she was the longest running performer to portray Sally Bowles. Her most recent Broadway role was as Thoroughly Modern Millie herself.

Other voice work in animated features includes Lady And The Tramp II, and the English translations of the Japanese films Porco Rosso , and (Academy Award winner) Spirited Away in which she voiced the character Lin.

As well as many film and television performances, Susan has a successful concert/cabaret career. She has played many times at The Hollywood Bowl, as well as appearing at Carnegie Hall, The Lincoln Centre and The Kennedy Centre. Her many recordings include four solo albums, So Far, All That And More, Coffee House, and most recently the holiday album Winter Tracks.

Following the birth of her daughter, Susan is now back doing concerts and will be releasing a “Live” album later in the year.

I would like to wish Susan many congratulations on Nina’s birth – and a big thank you for her contribution to this project.

Friday, 20 April 2007

The Inspirations Project – An Introduction

Clockwise from left – Maureen McGovern, AJ O’Neill, Anne Kerry Ford, Matt Harrop, Caroline Sheen and DC Anderson

The Inspirations Project – An Introduction

Last year I conducted a number of interviews with colleagues under the heading of “The Show That Changed My Life”, the idea behind these features was to look at the show that first got the interviewee interested in musical theatre along with a general look at their influences and inspirations.

So as 2007 came around I decided to bring back the concept – but I wanted to do this with a twist! After some consideration I decided that it would be interesting to take a group of musical theatre performers from around the world – with different levels of success and experience – and build a feature around their own influences and inspirations. Via the miracle of the internet (and myspace) I contacted several performers and was lucky enough to get a positive reply from quite a few of them. I so far have performers both from the UK and the USA, and they vary from a young man appearing in his first West End show to a Broadway leading lady who has received Grammy nominations and starred in hit Hollywood movies. The responses I have received from my contributors have been great and as a result the feature will initially be spread over a couple of weeks, to give me an opportunity to fully contrast and compare what has shaped them as performers. Also I will be happy to pass on any feed back I get from any readers of this project to it’s participants.

But first thing’s first! My reason for this introduction is to introduce you to the first six performers who have kindly agreed to take part!

From the UK

Alan Joey (AJ) .O’Neill
AJ Is relatively new to professional theatre having only recently graduated from performing arts college. His first professional engagement was in his native Ireland in Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World and he recently made his West End debut as swing in Chicago, where he since gone on as Amos Hart.

Matt Harrop

Matt has been performing professionally for around ten years after studying at Guildford. He has performed in Les Miserables in London, and toured in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of My Fair Lady. More recently he was acclaimed for his performance as Prince John in the recent revival of Tim Rice and Steven Oliver’s Blondel. Matt is currently appearing as Riff Raff in the national tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

Caroline Sheen
Caroline is well known in the West End for playing many leading roles over the last few years. As well as originating the role of Jennifer Gabriel in The Witches Of Eastwick at Drury Lane, Caroline had a stint at the Palladium in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as Truly Scrumptious and appeared as the lovely Philia in the National Theatre’s hit production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Caroline will be appearing at the Finborough Theatre on 22, 29 April and 6 May in Adam Guettel’s Myths And Hymns.

From the USA

Regular readers of my column may remember his name from a piece I wrote on him and American cabaret performers earlier in the year. D.C. is a successful musical theatre performer as well as an accomplished cabaret and recording artist. He has released eight solo albums, most recently I Am Still, and currently he is appearing as Andre in the US tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera.

Anne Kerry Ford
A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School, Anne made her Broadway debut as Grace Farrell in Annie, and also appeared in The Threepenny Opera alongside Raul Julia, Sting and Maureen McGovern. These days Anne’s career is more focussed on her concert and cabaret work and she has recently released her third album, an acclaimed collection of the songs of Kurt Weill – simply titled Weill. As well as her webpage you can also check out two of her Weill performances on youtube at (It Never Was You) and (Pirate Jenny)

Maureen McGovern
Maureen first burst into the public consciousness in the early seventies when she recorded the Oscar Winning (and US number one hit) The Morning After (from The Poseidon Adventure) and for a while was known as The Disaster Queen when she followed this up with the Oscar winning theme to The Towering Inferno. To her fans she is known as The Stradivarius Voice for her range and versatility which sees her equally at home with everything from pop to operetta, with a good helping of jazz too. Maureen has released many recordings over the years, and has twice been nominated for a Grammy. Last year she was one of a number of performers on the Grammy (Best Musical Recording For Children) winning Songs From The Neighborhood – The Music Of Mr. Rodgers. As a cabaret and concert performer she has performed at most of the top venues in the States including Carnegie Hall, and has performanced with the Boston Pops. In the movies Maureen is possibly best known for playing the singing nun in the popular Airplane comedies. Her first Broadway appearance was in The Pirates Of Penzance as Mabel, and since then she has played many leading roles, most recently Marmee in Little Women both on the great white way and the subsequent national tour.

So these are our initial contributors to The Inspirations Project and believe me they have all contributed some great stuff! But for that we will have to wait until our first real instalment where we look at the shows that first inspired our thespians to tread the boards! Keep your eyes peeled for further announcements on some more participants!

So for this week only one thing remains. A musical theatre handy household hint – well almost – from Caroline Sheen

A cure for hiccups – have someone pull gently on your earlobes as you drink a whole glass of water in one breath. Works every time!

Saturday, 14 April 2007

A couple of weeks ago I was watching the fifties comedy How To Marry A Millionaire starring Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall. It’s quite a slight film although very entertaining, and strangely it has the feel of a musical. Other than the odd choral outburst – and strangely a full length overture by Alfred Newman which is an odd thing to watch on film, it doesn’t feature any songs as such. There are, however, countless moments when you half expect the performers to burst into song. It’s that kind of film!

In fact a writer of musical comedy may well say that a story sings. This is the phrase that is often used to determine if an existing work – be it book, play or movie – is ripe for musicalisation. So when Rodgers and Hammerstein looked at Molnar’s Liliom they saw the potential that was to turn this eastern Europe tale into the classic Carousel, and likewise with Lynne Rigg’s Green Grow The Lilacs which became , in turn, Oklahoma! Indeed it’s often said that the reason that Mack And Mabel by Jerry Herman (despite a superlative score) has never been a real success is that neither the characters or the plot really sing, and the same has often been said of the legend of Saint Bernadette!. It’s difficult to pinpoint what really makes a story work in this way, but possibly what it needs are moments of heightened emotion, where it doesn’t seem inappropriate for a character to step outside himself and emote. Certainly moments of high drama and romance all help, in Carousel we certainly have both with Billy Bigelow’s Soliloquoy when he finds out that Julie is expecting his child, and the tender bench scene where the two characters extemporize about what they would do If I Loved You. So where am I going with this concept you may wonder? Well I thought I would take a look at a few movies etc. that I have always thought would work beautifully for the musical stage and speculate a little on why they may work and what could be achieved with the right collaborators.

Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias has been a success on both stage and screen, and dealing with a larger than life group of strong female characters I believe it would make a wonderful musical. There are certainly many moments of heightened emotion and also a rich vein of humour runs through this drama that tells a compelling story of female friendship. Set in the southern states of America there is ample opportunity to include many styles of music - country, folk and gospel could all feature within the framework of this story. So many elements of the story could work brilliantly through song. We have the transformation of Annelle as she begins as a timid mousey creature and then glamourises herself, we have the death of Shelby, and the comical relationship between ‘Ouisa the town eccentric and Clairie the mayor. Imagine M’lynn at Shelby’s graveside as she leads the cast in an impassioned gospel number, followed by the ice breaker as Clairie pushes ‘Ouisa forward and suggests M’lynn hits her. So much rich potential for a stage musical. David Yazbeck who was behind the songs for The Full Monty would be an excellent choice of composer as his music has a real suggestion of Americana running through it and manages to embrace everything that American music symbolizes. And what a cast we could have for this show…..imagine Betty Buckley as the cantankerous ‘Ouisa and for Clairie? Well perhaps Patti Lupone? Liz Callaway would be a sterling choice for the strong, emotional core of the piece M’Lynn, and who better for her sweet and ill fated daughter Shelby than British performer Caroline Sheen? And that’s just a few of the leading ladies in this prospective musical…….

When Rupert Everett leads the cast in a sing along of I Say A Little Prayer at the wedding rehearsal in My Best Friend’s Wedding it seems like a very natural uncontrived moment. The soundtrack uses Bacharach/David compositions so frequently that, along with the karaoke scenes and the camp Wishin’ And Hopin’ opening credits of the film you almost feel like everyone has been singing through the movie anyway, so it would seem very natural to musicalize this story. I am not quite sure how all the plot elements, such as the car chase, would work but there are certainly enough elements in this story that would make for an engaging old fashioned musical comedy. I am not quite sure who would be the best choice of composers for this project – maybe there is some modern day Rodgers and Hart just waiting to be discovered, but of course if we absolutely must have another hit compilation musical then this is the one that Burt Bacharach’s sixties hits are perfect for. Who to cast? In the Julia Roberts character who could pull of such a mean spirited girl and still make us fall totally in love with her? I would suggest that Kristen Chenoweth is the perfect choice. In the camp best friend role played so brilliantly by Rupert Everett? Well maybe John Barrowman could be a good choice, although I would be more inclined to cast him as the romantic lead – the Dermot Mulroney character - and cast someone such as Malcolm Gets (best known here for the sitcom Caroline In The City) This would only leave the Cameron Diaz part ? Well I am stumped on this, we may have to audtion!

The Poster from the movie Life Is Beautiful

A more serious piece altogether, yet told with such good humour and warmth, is the Italian movie Life Is Beautiful. The films first act, when it’s lead character first moves to a large Tiscan town, falls in love, gets married etc, contains such comedy and joy and a strong sense of music. There are so many elements that would make for a great musical. The films second act takes a much darker tone as Guido and his young son Giosue are interned in the concentration camps. His wife, determined not to be separated, boards the train herself but of course they are not kept together at the camp. Determined to protect his son from the Nazi’s, Guido tells Giosue that it’s a game and he has to win points in order to win the big prize – a tank! The story delivers on every level, joy, laughter and of course tears. All ingredients that make a great musical. So many scenes would be a delight to see on stage. When Dora (Guido’s principessa), on the occasion of her engagement party at the hotel where Guido works, seals her fate and gets on to the table, abandoning her prospective husband, before being lead away on horseback to a new life with Guido. At the other end of the scale the musical moment where Guido is serving a dinner for the Nazi’s at the camp and hears Dora’s favourite aria on the gramophone. He simply turns the speaker to the window and opens it allowing the music to float over the camp so his wife hears and knows he is ok. So many scenes are equally evocative and this is such a life affirming tale that I am sure musicalization would work. Even with the challenges that a concentration camp setting, for part of the show, would present I am sure that the right production team could carry this off brilliantly. Who to write this story? I would be particularly keen for Maury Yeston (Nine) to be given composing duties on this. He has already shown in Italianate sensibility in previous work that would suit the shows setting particularly well. Casting the show would present more difficulties I feel. Guido has to have a great comic ability, but also a big voice capable of operatic drama as well, and also acting skills enough to deal with the shows pathos. Alan Cummings springs to mind, but Anthony Warlow has also been suggested. Certainly Warlow has been noted for a talent for mimicry so maybe he would be a great idea in the lead for this imaginary project.

So if only I were writing for musical theatre maybe I would work on one of these projects. No doubt some of you will disagree with my choices, or indeed find the whole idea preposterous or sacreligious, but most successful musicals tend to be adapted from another source. Of course people may have other ideas and stories to adapt. Maybe Superman? Jane Eyre? Fritz Lang’s classic movie Metropolis? Or even the movie Meet Me In St Louis? Well they were all done and none of these were successful, so it only goes to show that for every piece of source material such as Les Miserables, Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker (Hello Dolly) and Romeo And Juliet (West Side Story) that are a resounding hit there are many more when maybe the original source material just doesn’t sing!!!

The original Broadway cast of David Yazbeck’s Magnolias based on the hit play and movie Steel Magnolias is great. With a cast of Broadways top divas including Bernadette Peters, Betty Buckley and Liza Minnelli this is a great score. The Look Of Love inspired by My Best Friends Wedding featuring the Bacharach/David songbook is a great show to rival Mamma Mia and well worth a listen. Chenoweth is great in the lead. Maury Yeston’s Life Is Beautiful in it’s studio recording is one of the richest scores written for the theatre in many years. Anthony Warlow’s performance is multilayered and full of comedy and pathos, and when he sings the interpolated aria La Baccarolle it really blows you away! Of course none of these actually exist but if you should, by some strange twist of fate, see them next time you are in Dress Circle then please buy me a copy

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Soundtrack - Tracks 42-45

42.Didn’t I (Simon) CARLY SIMON
Carly’s album “Have I Told You Lately” was playing on the occasion of (blush) my first time! This song sums up the relationship that followed in some of its sentiment “didn’t I give you midnight, didn’t I give you the month of June” although it was February and some of March……When Valentine’s day came around I played the romance card and bought him this CD. He bought me the Angela Lansbury London cast of “Gypsy” Quite definitely lacking in both romance and imagination.

43.“One Year Of Love” (Deacon) ELAINE PAIGE
In my post-Brett (for that was his name!) misery I would play this song and feel depressed….just one year of love is better than a lifetime alone…..oh dear! Re-reading the lyrics I must have taken it so much more badly than I remember…I remember on one occasion saying that we could meet just for a bit of no strings fun.. The second I said it I realised that I didn’t want that at all! A terrible idea! So I broke the connection and after a while realised I was better just to move on. He continued to cling on like a limpet though, if he wanted to cling that much the daft bugger shouldn’t have broken up!

Ostensibly this song is about a friend of the band leaving to go and live down under. For me it sums up that some friends are not meant to be part of your life forever but this doesn’t diminish the relationship ….”cause I know the road is very long, but in my head I’ll always hold your song, and I’ll keep a good thought there for you….” More than anyone it’s probably about Fay, Emma, David and Lester. Maybe even Lisa B if I am feeling charitable! I thought of all of them as very close friends for a while, but none of them proved to be lasting…other than David, although we aren’t that close anymore.

45.“Life Is Eternal” (Simon/Gohl) CARLY SIMON
I latched onto this song around the time that Plums husband (an off duty policeman) was tragically killed in 1991. Obviously this is Plum’s story not mine so I am not going to dwell too much on it, but the shock of the incident deeply affected all of those who worked with her “Life is eternal, love is Immortal and death is only a horizon” we can only hope!

Friday, 6 April 2007

The Power To Move Me

Believe it or not the fourth of April marks the first anniversary of my writing this column. I am not going to bore you with a retrospective look at the last year however – I think I did that at Christmas so that’s done and dusted. But what of the next year? What do I have in store for you?

Well this may quite possibly be one of my last “regular” columns for a few weeks as my page is about to be overtaken by something called The Inspirations Project , I am not going to reveal what all this is about quite just yet, but I am optimistic that the pieces will all come together very soon and then you will find out! Before this project launches I thought I would kind of take a look at my own inspirations – or at least what the contributing factors towards my love affair with musical theatre have been.

So lets go back three decades. There I am eight years of age. 1977. No lets go a little further back still. Maybe 1975-1976? It was probably around this time that I first saw the classic movie The Wizard Of Oz beloved of many generations of children. I am sure there are many of us who loved this film as a child and believe me I was completely under it’s spell. Around the same time my Uncle was beginning his career as a singer/actor so I was often taken to see him in shows, largely at the Players Theatre. Now for a precocious child who loved being in the school play ( I was a monkey once upon a time and also a Palestinian pig farmer – don’t ask!) The Players was great, you got a song sheet and had to join in with all the choruses. Allegedly I was always singing louder than anyone else and the audience were all looking at me. I think this is more a case of me embarrassing my family, but who am I to argue? So sporadically over the next few years I was taken to see various shows he was in. It was a great thrill meeting Sheila Steafel (who was well known at the time for The Ghosts Of Motley Hall) and Anita Harris was lovely when I saw her in Robinson Crusoe. She even gave me a box of chocolates and a copy of her single from the pantomime, Hello Sailor. So I was used to seeing shows from a young age, Joseph and Calamity Jane both played their part too but I think its fair to say that biggest factor in my passion for a good show was Evita . As I mentioned many months ago hearing that LP, in its big shiny silver sleeve had a great effect on me. Even then I think it was the lyrics that made a huge impact on me. Tim Rice’s lyrics were just so witty, and combined with some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best melodies they made for a beguiling combination.

The following years saw me tentatively explore the odd show and also work in theatre for the first time, Little Shop Of Horrors made an impact as did On Your Toes, but it was the album of Chess that really grabbed me. I loved almost everything about it and couldn’t wait to see it live on stage. When I did see it I really wasn’t disappointed either. I know the show was flawed in many ways but the music was amazing, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Around the same time Elaine Paige’s Stages album came out and Barbra Streisand’s The Broadway Album followed soon after. Both of these albums introduced me to shows I had never previously heard of such as Nine and Dreamgirls but most of all (along with the movie of West Side Story) they made me aware of the work of Stephen Sondheim for the first time. The songs featured on these albums really struck a chord with me, and when the BBC showed their documentary based around Follies In Concert this compounded my love of Sondheim and I have been lucky enough to see productions of almost all of his shows over the years.

It was because of the Follies TV show that I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see one of it’s stars, Barbara Cook, when she played the Donmar Warehouse in 1986. She really didn’t have the kind of voice I appreciated at that age, but there was something about seeing her live that made me a huge fan. Somehow she seemed to be able to perform any kind of song and make it her own – indeed she still does! I have seen Miss Cook in concert possibly around 13 or 14 times, and whether she is singing the songs of the Disney movies or the works of Sondheim she never disappoints.

Since moving to London and coming to work for Stoll Moss in 1987 I have been lucky enough to see some amazing performances in some wonderful shows. I suppose I may as well start with the Sondheim shows as there have been so many of them that have been amongst my highlights. Follies at the Shaftesbury was amazing , Diana Rigg’s Phyliss Stone was marvellous and Eartha Kitt’s rendition of I’m Still Here was ridiculous and fabulous all at the same time. Into The Woods at the Phoenix was a marvellous experience although made a little difficult to watch thanks to the poignant of lyrics in No More which seemed to reflect the relationship I had with my then recently dead father. One of the greatest moments I have ever enjoyed in theatre was when Judi Dench sat on a bed made of red roses in A Little Night Music and gave a master class in both acting and singing when she performed Send In The Clowns. It was only a couple of years before this that I saw Sweeney Todd at the same theatre with a revelatory Julia McKenzie as Mrs Lovett. The Donmar productions of Company, Assassins, Pacific Overtures and Into The Woods were definite highlights but it was their production of Merrily We Roll Along that was particularly memorable. I think there were around fourteen of us and we followed the show by going to eat at Joe Allen’s. At the next table was Maria Friedman and as we left she stopped us to ask if we were the cast of Merrily. Hilarious! My first experience of Merrily was in 1988 when I saw a concert presentation at the Shaftesbury when it was followed by a concert of Sondheim’s songs and I will never forget Dame Edna singing The Ladies Who Lunch. Bringing the Sondheim shows right up to date, last years Sunday In The Park With George is really as good as theatre gets and one of the best recent examples of marrying master story telling with modern technology.

OK, so non Sondheim highlights? Guys And Dolls at the National was just amazing and, as previously documented, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat made my Grandpa wave his walking stick in the air with excitement . Taking my little brother to see Crazy For You and witnessing him trying to tap dance on the bus home was also funny. Working front of house on La Cage Aux Folles I had the privilege of enjoying George Hearn sing I Am What I Am many times. Jesus Christ Spuerstar at the Lyceum and the astonishing voice of Steve Balsamo as he sang Gethsemane was another highlight. I watched it from the onstage seating and was a little distracted that one of the disciples was wearing CK One, and that Mary Magdalene kept pinching other performers bums but this did not detract from the overall enjoyment. Bizarrely I saw the show during the week of Princess Diana’s death and some of the lyrics – particularly those to Heaven On Their Minds were very similar to what the press was saying about Diana – it really did add a surreal edge to the show. I have seen Rent several times in the west end and was always blown away by Jesse L.Martin’s performance as Tom Collins. I remember seeing it the night before he left and, even though he was always amazing on this night, he seemed to give it an extra 300 percent as he sang the reprise of I’ll Cover You - truly inspiring. Billy Elliot should get a special mention as one of the best things I have ever seen – inspiring and moving at every level. The same goes for Ragtime. The late lamented Bridewell also offered some great shows such as Michael John La Chiusa’s Hello Again and the wonderful Is There Life After High School which I just didn’t want to end. A special mention should also go their promenade production of Sweeney Todd, I went with David Dolman and James Maddison. Poor James seemed truly frightened by some of the murders happening practically at our feet and at one point David seemed to get trapped in the middle of the performance area as he was ran at from each and every direction by performers yelling city on fire !!!!!!!!

I have also been lucky enough to see some amazing performers over the years. As well as Barbara Cook I have seen Barbra Streisand in concert when she was at Wembley in the nineties. There was really something magical about seeing her performing Evergreen and The Way We Were. Seeing Liza Minnelli live two nights running, when she really was at the top of her game, is possibly the most exciting theatrical performance I have ever experienced. Also particularly memorable, and the most moving concert I have ever attended, was Petula Clark at the Palladium. Witnessing the sound check and having my own private rendition of Who Am I? Was really cool. The Donmar Warehouse used to present a Show People (or later Divas At The Donmar) season and I saw some great performers there. Betty Buckley’s marvellous one woman show and Liz Callaway’s rousing Sibling Revelry Sister Act with jazz/cabaret icon Ann Hampton Callaway. I remember seeing the late Elisabeth Welch as she sang songs that had been written for her by Cole Porter and Noel Coward and told us tales of legends like Paul Robeson and Gertrude Lawrence. Speaking of Gertrude Lawrence I also saw Welch perform at Drury Lane in a concert version of Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant(originally starring Lawrence) where I was blown away by the performance of Maureen McGovern Then of course, working in the theatre, sometimes there are quite magical moments that happen away from the eyes of the public. Hearing the band call for The King And I really gave me chills for instance, and sometimes observing rehearsals can be really exciting too. Seeing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fly for the first time in a technical run through was also breathtaking.

So that’s more or less the highlights of my last thirty (that can’t be right surely?) years of theatre going. I am sure there are many highlights I have left out – can I count hearing Anthony Warlow’s voice on record for the first time? Maybe not. There are also the fair share of lowlights too, Fantine falling off her bed after dying the first time I saw Les Miserables, a nameless actress fluffing I’m Still Here in a production of Follies and Nite Club Confidential??? Let’s not talk about Nite Club Confidential!!!! Well, that aside, one thing is certain. I will continue having memorable experiences in the theatre. I will laugh, I will cry (well I won’t really – I never cry in public!) and will enjoy experiences that will stay with me for a long long time. In the words of Ira Gershwin Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Just one! Go to the theatre!

Monday, 2 April 2007

Soundtrack - Tracks 38-41

38.Old Friend (Cryer/Ford) from “I’m Getting My Act Together And Taking It Out On The Road” SEAN RAY
From the first time I heard this song ….every time I lose another lover, I call up my old friend…..I have felt that it’s mine and Jackie’s song. We lost touch for around eight years so it seemed that the sentiments of the song were no longer true. Then through the miracle of the internet and ”friends reunited” Jackie tracked me down. We have been back in touch for three years or so now and it’s been great, and we are both determined that as the song goes “we will meet the year we’re sixty two and travel the world as old friends do” Also, once upon a time, I sang this song in a pub on new years eve and made people cry! Not because I was so bad! Because they thought I was so good of course!

39.Did I happen To Mention (Fordham) JULIA FORDHAM
40.I Need To Be In Love ( Bettis/CarpenterRPENTERS
I soooooooooo felt this song “I need, I need another good friend, like I need, like I need a hole in the head” the Julia song was kind of specific about the same friend as “Your Lovely Face” , but in broader terms it could be about anyone. I had my friends, I wanted something more…would it ever happen. “The hardest thing I’ve ever done is keep believing there’s someone in this world who’s meant for me” Karen’s song echoes very similar thoughts but in a subtly different way. I still relate to these songs very much on occasion although I don’t doubt that there is someone out there for me anymore. I get plenty of interest but the one who wants to stick around still eludes me!

41. Some Kind Of Wonderful (Goffin/King) CAROLE KING
Well for a while at least I found someone. And while it lasted it was lovely, I am not sure whether it was love but I was ready for it whatever it was. It was only when we broke up that I decided it was love. He was Australian and decided that as he had to go back to Australia a year later it was better to split up and go back early because he was in love with me. Bless him he wasn’t overly bright and his logic still kind of eludes me. If we were meant to be together I may have followed him to the ends of the earth, he just didn’t want to try. In the relationship I was always the one to compromise etc. and bend to his will. Maybe I should have played it differently who knows? Hmmm that almost sounds as if I am about to break into “I Know Him So Well”