Monday, December 03, 2007

Rufus, Judy, and a Gay Night to Remember

Although I'm not religious I do have quite a few heavenly visions. From the one where I'm on a tropical beach surrounded by a bevy of hunky naked non virgins fanning me and feeding me grapes and stuff.

To the one where I'm a marijuana plantation owner with a big straw hat.....and Stephen Harper is a nasty looking porker in a pen squealing for piggy treats. And I'm not giving him any.

But in every version Rufus Wainwright is always singing and playing the piano in the bar around the corner.

So I'm glad to see the Guardian agrees with me. Rufus is brilliant.

His richly textured tenor is like no other in pop: such is its power that even in the largest of theatres he can pull out the plugs and sing with no amp. That voice was put to full use in Wainwright's song-for-song recreation of Judy Garland's legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert, released as a record today. Showbusiness does not get any bigger.

And Rufus singing Judy's songs from the concert that many have called the greatest night in show business does not get any better or GAYER.

Because the night Judy came back after recovering from a serious illness .....that many believed had ended her career.....her most faithful fans were there.

Judy Garland walked out on the Carnegie Hall stage last evening and let them have it. That is, she let them have it as soon as they let her let them have it.

They were mostly stage people, taking in a show on their night off. And being of that particular breed, they were, of course, demonstrative, They knew Judy and she knew them, so first of all they had to stand up, clap and holler.

Back then we were the stage people. Now we're the gay people. But they loved Judy. As the cops found out when they raided a bar a few days after her death. And setoff this riot.

Just like I love Rufus.

Proud but moody gay boy....tortured soul....young man of many faces...chrystal meth survivor...and now a bright Canadian star lighting up the show biz universe.

You can't ask for a better story than that.

Although as Canadians...wasn't it OBVIOUS long ago that this kid was going places?


Never mind those heavenly visions. These days a Canadian story with a happy ending. Or a new beginning.

Is more than good enough...


P.S. I guess I should also include a video to show you how far he's come. And this version of a Leonard Cohen song is one of my favourites...


Unknown said...

wait a minute, i'm confused......was rufus the guy in the first video as well?????

anyways, vid 2 was wow, great voice and song!!!

thanks for the history lesson too :D

Simon said...

Hi Scout...yeah that's Rufus at twelve in Mike Robbo's movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp traveler.If you can't tell by the voice you can tell by the sneer. I want it!!! Rubbo put the clip on YouTube recently and wrote that he regretted giving Rufus such a small part. I bet he does.... :)

Lept said...

His crooning in 'The Aviator' was the highlight of the film for me - and though his last CD was a bit of a disappointment, I have ordered the Judy Garland one from Archambault.
(I really like his sister too).

Simon said...

Hi Lept!! yeah I'm afraid to admit that I'm not always a fan of his choice of songs.I'm a crude rocker at heart. But the Judy Garland one should be a classic...and who but Rufus would do that. BTW didn't you LOVE the code name for gay people that columnist used...the "stage people" who were so "demonstrative." The fact that most people probably knew who he is referring too is both scary and hilarious...

Anonymous said...

Hey Simon...

I bought the album on iTunes the first day they listed it. It really is quite something! His falsetto in "Do It Again" is amazing.

The picture on the cover kind of looks pre-rehab but does bring Judy to mind :)

Simon said...

Hi Kenn!! I'm boycotting I-tunes ever since I discovered that I can't use the tracks with my video edit software. But I will get the CD. It does sound like an album to dim the lights and listen to!
As for the cover photo...uh oh...but maybe he just had a hard night... :)