Friday, 11 August 2017

30th Century Man

I'm currently watching the ten year old documentary "30th Century Man" (I seldom watch two hour programs in one session) about the reclusive and supposedly evasive Scott Walker. One the the big moments is when he comes into the studio wearing a pulled down baseball cap, and you think what's he going to be like, is this going to be a car crash, but his latest album is a collaboration with drone noise band Sunn O))) so you know he can talk to people and he comes across as open, knowledgeable and easy to talk to.

The film features contributions from lots of musical icons (see the tags) and I noticed one very interesting parralel. Scott had been drinking at the opening of the Playboy Club in London, got very drunk got talking to a girl who could drink more than him. They went back to her flat and he noticed that she had a lot of Jacques Brel albums which she kept playing and translating for Scott.

He became hooked on Brel from this and a couple of days later he met Andrew Loog Oldham for afternoon Black Russians. Scott mentioned Brel and Oldham said that's a coincidence, there's guy sent some piano versions of Brel English transciption that he'd done which were not that good. Scott said I'll have them. Andrew Loog Oldham was the guy who sued the Verve for using the orchestral tape loop of "The Last Time" on "Bitterweet Symphony"but that's an aside. So a girl in a flat got Scott Walker into Jacques Brel.

In the sixties the BBC gave Scott a TV series expecting a middle of the road entertainer, The show last six episode and the BBC destroyed all the tapes so all that is left are fragments and photographs. They got Scott Walker not a Jack Jones or Tom Jones.

Cut to David Bowie (Executive producer of this documentary):

David was dating one of Scott Walker's ex girldfriend, and was a bit pissed off that she had lot's of Scott's albums, which she kept playing which pissed him off even more. But the more she played the more he realised what a great voice this guy had, and so became a real Scott Walker fan. So a girl in a flat got David Bowie into Scott Walker.

They both covered Jaques Brel's "Amsterdam" so were obviously both fans.

Apparently they contacted Julian Cope who is a big fan, but Julian is even more interview shy than Scott so they just show the letter he sent in reply.

The song I will choose is a Brel translation from the sixties, but that voice is amazing, so for you education I'll include his debut solo TV performance on the Dusty Springfield show "Mathilda" or "Mathilde" depending on how it's listed .

Enjoy your Friday.

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