Birthday shoutouts! Oliver and James Phelps (above) are 30, Tea Leoni is 50, Rashida Jones is 40, Chelsea Handler is 41, Sean Astin is 45, and Sally Jessy Raphael is 81.
Sorry Zac, but nobody tops the original Baywatch babes.
How to get away with thirsting for Jack Falahee.
Lorde’s touching David Bowie tribute had the Brit Awards audience on its feet.
Golden Girls adult coloring book blows past its Kickstarter goal.
IN OTHER NEWS
No, LGBT people aren’t exempt from Donald Trump’s blatant bigotry.
“Trump has been much less vocal in when the media spotlight is on him, however, about his opposition to gay marriage. Certainly he’s much less vocal about it than he is about, say, immigration policy, so we’re not hearing his anti-gay positions as much or at all in mainstream media, or in his speeches, while he continues talking very publicly about building his wall on the border. But he is definitely speaking forcefully on his anti-gay positions to evangelicals on their media platforms, in their language, using the dog whistle on LGBT rights even if he’s using the fog horn on other issues. Trump is much smarter than many give him credit for. By speaking with the fog horn on many issues it gives the impression that he places low priority on the issues with which he’s using the dog whistle. In fact, he’s calibrated what to speak softly on and what take big, no matter that the positions may be equally extreme.”
Here’s the first trailer for perfect specimen Tom Hardy in the FX/BBC series Taboo.
“Set in 1814, Taboo follows James Keziah Delaney, a man who has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father’s shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself. But his father’s legacy is a poisoned chalice, and with enemies lurking in every dark corner, James must navigate increasingly complex territories to avoid his own death sentence. Encircled by conspiracy, murder, and betrayal, a dark family mystery unfolds in a combustible tale of love and treachery.”
Speaking of trailers, Showtime has a peek at Season Three of Penny Dreadful, which premieres on May 1.
Spike TV has given a pilot order to a series version of Stephen King’s fabulous The Mist, one of my favorite King novellas. Of course, it was already made into a film, which I loved … until the final five minutes. Don’t get me started on that ending.
Jussie Smollett has joined the cast of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, with Michael Fassbender reprising his role from Prometheus.
Holland Roden on Charlie Carver’s coming out.
And here’s The Weekly ShoutOUT™. Each week we’re going to focus on one out athlete/performer and feature a daily pic and career timeline. We’ll be showcasing the big names, but also the lesser-known gay and bisexual celebs who deserve more recognition.
This week our 154th ShoutOUT™ is to … Dan Butler
From 1997-2004, Dan played caring teacher Mr. Simmons on the Nickelodeon classic Hey Arnold!. When Dan came out in 1995 his colleagues stood by him. Here’s his Frasier co-stars Peri Gilpin and Jane Leeves helping to honor him on National Coming Out Day.
We’ve concluded The 100 Greatest Lost Hits of The 80’s Part 2: The Even More Forgotten, and Monday we’ll start a new list (you’ll be able to vote for what list comes next on Friday), but for the remainder of this week, let’s take a look at a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut for the Lost Hits list. Consider them … “Bubbling Under” the list.
Up next is “Let The Day Begin” by The Call.
California band The Call (led by the late Michael Been) hit the chart just twice, but it was with stirring anthems. They hit #74 in 1983 with “The Walls Came Down,” and six years later they had their biggest chart success, with “Let The Day Begin,” which peaked at #51 in August 1989. TRIVIA: Al Gore would use “Let The Day Begin” as his Presidential campaign song.
BONUS: Here’s “The Walls Came Down,” which I remember was played incessantly on MTV.
Congrats to rob, who guessed that yesterday’s Pixuzzle™ © ® was X-Files.
Here’s today’s Pixuzzle™ © ®. Here is a scene from a FAMOUS TV SHOW. Can you name it?
And today’s Briefs are brought to you by … Andres Nunez
And now something special in the Briefs. I’m happy to present a new undertaking by reader Lion King. Because our comments system is notoriously unreliable, his new list will appear at the end of the Briefs. Take it away LK!
In 1973 Elton John released his first double album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which to many, fans and critics alike (including me), is considered to be his masterpiece. It is also his most popular studio album, selling more than 30m copies worldwide.
There are 2 songs in the album that can be viewed as gay themed. One is obvious, the other not quite. We start with the one that is ambiguous. The title track, one of the best songs of the album and a big hit single, is a story about a young man who left his farm to go to the big city (for those who’ve been reading all my entries, there appears to be a pattern here) who ended up staying in this person’s penthouse. He’s unhappy with the situation and he stages his rebellion: “I’m going back to my plough” because: “I’m not a present for your friends to open”. In the last verse he’s downright contemptuous:
“Maybe you’ll get a replacement
There’s plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground”
My read on this is of a sugar daddy situation that has gone sour. Other readings are possible, but I think mine is as good as any.
The other song, “All The Girls Love Alice” is exactly what the title says: Alice, who “couldn’t get it on with the boys on the scene” was “Getting her kicks in another girl’s bed” until she was found “in the subway dead” (Why?)
The chorus paints us the picture of a girl who wanted to please every single one of her female admirers:
“All the young girls love Alice
Tender young Alice they say
Come over and see me
Come over and please me
Alice it’s my turn today
All the young girls love Alice
Tender young Alice they say
If I give you my number
Will you promise to call me
Wait till my husband’s away”
The flaw of the song is that her death is not explained away in the lyrics, possibly only existing for dramatic effect. Unfortunately we were still living in the times where the gay person was supposed to die in the end. Otherwise, it’s a good song. Judge for yourselves:
His next album, Caribou contained the classic “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and the fun rocker “The Bitch Is Back.” The latter is Elton’s “Killer Queen” with a bit of “Jumping Jack Flash.” He’s talking about himself, camping it up and thoroughly enjoying it. It’s no wonder that he usually opens his shows with this song. “I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch, Oh the bitch is back” goes the chorus, while the last verse starts with: “I entertain by picking brains, Sell my soul by dropping names”. The song was banned on several radio stations, in the United States and elsewhere. Which makes me like it even more.
“Philadelphia Freedom” was a non-album single (1975), as a way to honour Billie Jean King, lesbian legend of tennis and Elton’s friend. Lyricist Bernie Taupin said, “I can’t write a song about tennis,” and indeed the lyrics have nothing to do with tennis and little to do with BJK, the only connection being the title, referring to the tennis team BJK was a part of. US people perceived the song as patriotic and uplifting and in the spirit of soon to come bicentennial celebration, they made it a huge #1 hit.
“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” was his follow-up single, taken from the mostly autobiographical album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. It was about an event that took place in 1969, a few months before fame and fortune would come knocking. It concerns his engagement at the time to Linda Woodrow. Elton was unhappy with the idea of marriage and he contemplated suicide. It was his friend and bandmate, also a gay musician, Long John Baldry (he’s the “Sugar Bear” in the song), who talked him out of it, telling him that his music was what mattered and that he was destined for bigger things. It was a rather common occurrence for a gay person to be driven into marriage with a willing girl, as a “social convenience” for one or both parties. I guess it still happens, only not as often.
For Elton, it seems that the thought was excruciating, as the lyrics testify: “A slip noose hanging in my darkest dreams, I’m strangled by your haunted social scene, Just a pawn out-played by a dominating queen.” But, thankfully, “Sweet freedom whispered in my ear: you’re a butterfly and butterflies are free to fly. Fly away, high away bye bye.”