20181214

FARRAH

Farrah Fawcett was "a phenomenon only television could have produced." 'Charlie's Angels' made Farrah a household name, her trademark blonde curls splashed across magazine covers around the world. When 'Charlie's Angels' went on air in 1976, "it was the right thing at the right time" and it "just exploded on the scene." In its first season, some 59% of all TV sets in use were watching the series. 

Basia Rossignol, 1983: Does your hairstyle still create riots?

Farrah Fawcett: I changed it. Two years ago (around 1981) Faberge had introduced a line of hair care products with my name and my Farrah Fawcett look. Last year (in 1982) I insisted my photo be removed. My name is still there but no longer the blonde locks. It is very difficult not to become a product, to separate real from false values, to turn down offers ... These are everyday problems for me and the consequences arise when I cannot do anything about them.

One production worker pointed out, "If it wasn’t for the physical appeal of its three stars, particularly Farrah, it would be an also-ran." 'Charlie's Angels' was regarded a "crowd-puller" mainly because of the appeal of its stars' Q rating, which measured a performer's recognizability and likeableness. Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd all scored high Q rating with the public. The production worker continued, "Frankly, many of us were surprised when in the few weeks of the survey period, it grabbed a 59% share of the market. This means that something like 23 million people were watching – and that's some giant-sized audience." 

JoAnna Cameron recounted in 2002, "I got into the business a year or two after Jackie, Kate and Farrah, so between the three of them, they really opened up the business for women who weren't 6 feet tall … That was an amazing period in time to be on television … If I ever do anything, I would like to write a short book about the incredible women in the industry I had the pleasure to meet." At the time, JoAnna played science teacher Andrea Thomas who found an amulet while visiting the Pyramids. Whenever Andrea wore the amulet, she would turn into Isis - an Egyptian goddess with powers over time and space. 

Fred Silverman acknowledged, "'Seinfeld' which was the biggest hit of the decade, you know, the '90s, averaged about a 31, 32 share. ('Charlie's Angels') got a 55." Nolan Miller expressed, "All of a sudden, almost overnight, ('Charlie's Angels') became hysteria. I mean it's just like an explosion." The network decided to rerun the pilot and still attracted big audience. However Cheryl Ladd maintained, "When you want to do a certain project and have impact with a certain idea, you pretty much have to develop it yourself. Very rarely does the script you've been waiting for all your life walk in the front door."

Jaclyn Smith noted, "I was a kid when I went on 'Charlie's Angels'. It was like three college kids in a dormitory. We didn't know what was up, and it totally changed our lives. It was a wonderful education for all of us, and opened doors. 'Charlie's Angels' got so much media hype ... It had an audience and it was a training ground ... It wasn't Shakespeare."

Farrah Fawcett "just happened to be at the right place, at the right time to get on a good product like 'Charlie's Angels' and take it from there." Cheryl Ladd remembered, "Farrah was a big deal. Suddenly within a year, she became the US sex symbol, and created the most excitement since Marilyn Monroe. Viewers fell for Farrah in a big way." Dr Clancy McKenzie, then director of Philadelphia Psychiatric Consultation Service, made the comment at the time, "Everyone from a women's libber to a red-blooded male can sit down and be entertained by this show. And when you have that all-round appeal, you have a winner."

Basia Rossignol, 1983: What's your life like?

Farrah Fawcett: Very calm. I don't like to travel. I go to Texas to see my family and to New York for work. (As a Hollywood star) I have certain obligations towards the public and naturally go out sometimes, but I don't like noisy gatherings and large reunions. Often I prefer to stay at home reading or working in my atelier. In fact, I have a double professional life. I learned it in a Texas fine arts school and the day I will no longer want to act or when the public will have had enough of me, I will be able to become a decorator and to hold exhibitions.

Basia Rossignol: You decorated your house alone?

Farrah Fawcett: Completeley. I borrowed ideas from everywhere and the end result is a non-cultural mixture, with all influences harmonising without any rigor of style. I don't like decors. I have a great sense of the practical and of comfort. In this room which leads out to the pool, the floor can take wet feet, as can the sofas. Everything is calculated to withstand wetness without one having to tremble about damaging something. I like to build. But it's exasperating to police the workforce. Workers never come on time – and rarely finish work on time!

On 'Charlie's Angels', Farrah, Kate and Jaclyn reportedly put in a 12-hour day, seven days a week to satisfy the booming demand. In its original run, 'Charlie's Angels' went on air once a week. The show did not take long to become compulsive TV viewing. Kate Jackson expressed, "I knew from the beginning the show would do well but I didn't expect it would be quite as big a hit as it is. The best thing about a hit series is that it gives you the financial independence to pick and choose good roles later on."

In 1977, Farrah Fawcett was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Acting on 'Charlie's Angels'. Jaclyn Smith told the press at the time, "It was hard to realize that 'Charlie's Angels' was a success because we were working such long hours and on the first interview people would ask, 'What is it like? What is it like to have the show so popular?' and I really didn't realize it."

Basia Rossignol: Is it difficult to live with an actor?

Farrah Fawcett: Oh, you know it's difficult to live with any other person, with any man. Some like loud music, others prefer silence. Some like the TV loud, while another would like it low. A non-actor husband would hardly accept his wife coming home at midnight every day, completely exhausted. Ryan (O’Neal) understands. Yesterday (back in September 1983) for example, he made me rehearse the play I’m preparing for New York for four hours. He listened to me, corrected me, in short, he helped me a lot, because he’s an actor.

Basia Rossignol: What are your professional dreams?

Farrah Fawcett: To act in great roles for great directors of course. My favorites are Stanley Kubrick and Claude Lelouch. Several years ago when he was in Los Angeles, Lelouch asked me to participate in a film. I did not speak a word of French. It was my first experience of the kind. He does not impose anything on actors. He wants a certain impression that he alone knows how to use. It's very difficult. 

At the time, Basia Rossignol made the point Farrah's features were smooth and relaxed. Farrah contributed it to "a certain rigor in life. No alcohol, but long nights, plenty of exercise, squash and swims in the pool everyday. We (Farrah and Ryan) are light eaters, but not vegetarians." Farrah also spoke out about marriage, "It's mainly a question of children. It is certain that the child needs the father and it's better if he is married to the child's mother. The family break up here is almost total. I have kept my Texas girl side. I hope to someday have white hair at the same time as Ryan and to see together our grandchildren growing up."

Leonard Goldberg maintained, "We didn't set out to change the world. What we had in mind was a 33 share basically. That's all we had in mind. People to this day think that Farrah stayed for 3 years and Kate and Jackie stayed for 5 years. That's their memory of it … because their memory of 'Charlie's Angels' is so strong, they imagine (Farrah, Kate and Jackie) stayed much longer than they did."

20181204

THE WAY WE WERE

"Like Sinatra, Alan can turn a 32 bar song into a Three Act Play," Quincy Jones observed. In 1973, Alan and Marilyn Bergman wrote the lyrics for the title track to the movie, 'The Way We Were'. With Marvin Hamlisch writing the music, Barbra Streisand recorded her first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1974. In its review in 2018, 'Widescreenings' website noted, "'The Way We Were' (the song) is the second-most effective piece of film music ever composed."

'Turner Classic Movies' added, "The title theme song to 'The Way We Were' was a gigantic success just like the film and became an institution unto itself." 'Widescreenings' continued, "Permanently established among the world's greatest love songs, it's a lifeline to a cinematic production lost at sea. It's not like the world doesn't know this. Marvin Hamlisch won an Oscar for it. The lyrics were written by Marilyn and Alan Bergman. The film does not open with the song but the score. Sydney Pollack considered Robert Redford a 'vital, vital element' to this Arthur Laurents story. The subtle reason for the film's endurance is that it thrives on a lead female character."

As understood, "The screenplay by Arthur Laurents was based on his college days at Cornell University and his experiences with the House Un‐American Activities Committee." 'TCM' also mentioned, "'The Way We Were' was one of the first mainstream films to tackle the hovering dark cloud in Hollywood's history: McCarthyism and the blacklist."

In a conversation with Mike Ragogna of 'The Huffington Post' in 2013, Marilyn Bergman expressed, "If one really is serious about wanting to write songs that are original, that really speak to people, you have to feel like you created something that wasn’t there before — which is the ultimate accomplishment, isn't it? And to make something that wasn't there before, you have to know what came before you."

Mike Ragogna: Considering the incredible careers you've had, what advice do you have for new artists?

Alan Bergman: Well, for one thing I would say know the literature of popular music. Go back and listen to the great songs. There’s a reason why songs like Irving Berlin’s are still played and sung. Especially listen to Stephen Sondheim.

Mike Ragogna: With a lot of school funding going away, the first thing that gets slashed is music. 

Marilyn Bergman: The arts in general. Yes, we're probably fast approaching the time where there's a whole generation of young people who won’t know who Mozart was. The name will be totally unfamiliar. You have to seek out the young directors who understand the use of music in film because ultimately, it's the director who's the boss. There are fortunately quite a few young directors who really do understand music in film. That’s the first thing.

"There are very talented young film scorers. For example, there’s a young guy named Brian Byrne from Ireland who’s extremely gifted. He knows the soil from whence he came, and it’s not that he’s imitating or that it sounds in any way like them but he’s built upon the foundation. No matter what the field, how do you know that you’re not rewriting something that was written before you were born? And maybe written much better."

On New Year's Eve 1993 and New Year's Day 1994, Barbra Streisand made her first public performance in over 20 years. Tickets to her concert at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel sold out in minutes. "Can it be that it was all so simple then; Or has time rewritten every line; If we had the chance to do it all again; Tell me, would we? Could we?"

Barbra Streisand had stated, "I've always felt a kind of sadness on New Year's Eve. It seems to carry an imperative to be joyous, which is not something you turn on and off like a faucet. So, I thought it might be easier if I gathered a few thousand friends around me and we had some fun together." Some 26,000 people (including Hollywood superstars), happily paid up to $1000 for tickets to see Barbra Streisand live. "I would go anywhere to see Barbra," one fan told the press.

Robert Hilburn of 'The Los Angeles Times' reported at the time, "There was a magical moment during Barbra Streisand's landmark concert here (in Las Vegas) Saturday night (New Year's Day 1994) when the noted perfectionist goofed. She got mixed up on the words to her own song, the 1976 hit 'Evergreen'. It was dramatic because one reason Streisand avoided formal concerts for 22 years was stage fright – the inability to re-shoot or re-record the way you can in studios.

"Because the miscue Saturday was projected on a huge closed-circuit video screen, even those in the most remote areas of the MGM Grand Hotel's 13,000-seat Grand Garden arena could see the startled look on Streisand's face as she realized her error. Rather than freeze, however, she smiled sheepishly and joked, 'And it's my own song.' She then resumed the song, singing with the confidence and grace that characterized the rest of the evening's performance."

Alan and Marilyn Bergman wrote the show. Barbra directed. Marty Erlichman executive produced. Marvin Hamlisch directed the music and arrangements. And Donna Karan designed Barbra's concert gowns. 'The Way We Were' was performed during Act II, followed by the duet with Neil Diamond, 'You Don't Bring Me Flowers' in which Barbra performed solo. "It used to be so natural; To talk about forever; But used-to-bes don't count anymore; They just lay on the floor 'til we sweep them away." 

Mike Ragogna: The music industry is so fragmented right now (in 2013), could an Alan and Marilyn Bergman surface in this era (21st century)?

Marilyn Bergman: Oh, I don’t know. The directors are different. Sydney Pollack for example … Sydney Pollack was a student of both music and of songs and he didn't just want to use a song just to decorate a film, he knew exactly what he wanted a song to accomplish and was very specific.

Of Barbra's concert, 'New York Daily News' remarked, "Most great singers, from Billie Holiday to Sinatra to Piaf, tell part of their story in their music. The key is to let the song do the work. Streisand did that with her opener, the upbeat 'As If We Never Said Goodbye' from the new musical 'Sunset Boulevard' … Her voice has lost nothing, and she seems to understand songs better — a point she noted joking that it took 2,700 hours of therapy before she felt she could really sing 'On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.'"

'The Los Angeles Times': Why didn't you take the easier option of just doing a greatest hits show, instead of a more ambitious, scripted show?

Barbra Streisand: I wanted something more personal. I wanted to pick songs that meant something to me and then put them into some kind of story or theme so that there was a thread running through the show.

Barbra Streisand's triumphant Las Vegas return after a 22-year break led to a 6-city concert tour between April and July 1994. Then 52, Barbra Streisand told 'The Los Angeles Times', "As you get to a certain age, you don't take things for granted … things we took for granted for 30 some years. I never sort of felt this before in my life … standing back a bit and appreciating my career … and my fans … everything in life." 

20181130

MARGARITA AND MARIACHI

In the sensational 1981-82 TV season premiere of 'Dynasty', Alexis returned to Denver to deliver a "shocking testimony from the past and revenge that could shatter the dynasty." For the previous 16 years before 1981, viewers learnt Alexis went into exile, living in Paris, Rome, Monte Carlo and Acapulco. In another scene on 'Dynasty', Alexis' daughter, Fallon, was seen on a tree.

Talking to Jeff, Fallon said, "I used to sit up here when I was a kid, surveying my happy little world. Do you remember what a fun place it used to be then? … It's all ruined now. Ever since she came here (not the city, the Carrington estate)." To clarify which "she", Fallon then said, "I'm talking about Krystle (her stepmother). That wedding. That damn wedding. If that hadn't happened, Steven (her brother) would still be in New York, Ted Dinard (his lover) would still be alive, that miserable trial (over his death) wouldn't have happened, and my mother would have stayed put with her margarita-and-mariachi crowd instead of coming back here (to Denver) to haunt my father."

Speaking to the 'Houston Chronicle' in 2014, Raul Medina, the lead of Mariachi Emperadores de Mexico, a third-generation musician from Mexico, explained that "Mariachi music and Mexican food go hand in hand. They're both part of our culture and traditions. It represents our folklore, what it really means to be Mexican." Reporter Marilisa Sachteleben elaborated in May 2015, "People enjoy Mexican folk music such as 'mariachi', which combines salsa and polka dance music. It's played on high-spirited accordion, guitar and violin. Band members in traditional Mexican costume. Mariachi is joyful, exciting music and always accompanied by regional dance, such as 'Baile Folklorico'."

In a conversation with 'New Mexico Magazine' in 2018, Karina Vela, founder of The Mariachi Margaritas, told reporter John Clary Davies, "I was born in Mexico, just across the border. In Mexico, surprisingly, people don’t appreciate mariachi music as much as how we do it here in the US. I didn’t know about mariachi until we moved. I was put in mariachi class my first day of school, and I didn’t want to be there. That first week, I fell in love.

"The music, the songs — ever since then I’ve been in love with mariachi and it’s been a part of my life. People think that it’s just a group that plays at weddings, or for drunk people. In reality, there’s much more to it — different music styles, romantic music, festive music, music from every state of Mexico. If you’re sad, there’s a mariachi song that will hit the spot. If you’re in love, or happy, there’s a mariachi song for that."

Joey Guerra reported, "Mariachi music originated in Mexico, and modern-day crowds use it as a celebratory soundtrack for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other life events. It's especially popular on Cinco de Mayo, which is celebrated widely in the US and commemorates the Mexican army's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is not to be confused with September 16, Mexican Independence Day, a national holiday in Mexico."

Marilisa Sachteleben added, "'Cinco de Mayo' is Spanish for 'Fifth of May' is a Mexican cultural heritage festival. It has parallels to the US Fourth of July in that it commemorates a military victory. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated primarily just in the Pueblo region where is it known as El Dia de la Battale de Puebla. Battle of Puebla Day honors the remarkable defeat of French forces by the smaller Mexican army. The David and Goliath story is much-loved in Mexico."

Violinist Stephanie Tunchez stated, "People want to have a great time, and mariachi music helps with that ambience. My mom recommended I join the mariachi class. I had no idea what mariachi even was. She told me the music was like Selena's 'Tu Solo Tu' song and to give it a chance. If I didn't like it after one year, I could switch. I instantly fell in love with the music. It reminds me of country music. The lyrics tell stories of people's lives. I think people can relate to them, whether they're happy, sad or angry."

Margarita, comprised lime or lemon juice, triple sec or grenadine, and vodka, tequila, or rum, was regarded a tourist drink in Mexico which had become "so embedded into the American experience of going out for Mexican." The origins of the drink was unclear. However it had been suggested the first margarita beverage was concocted some time in 1948 in Acapulco by wealthy Dallas socialite Margarita Sames.

Joan Collins played Alexis. Speaking to Stephanie Mansfield of 'The Washington Post' in 1985, the year 'Dynasty' became the most popular of all prime-time series, Joan Collins maintained, "I wouldn't dream to presuppose that every woman wants to be like me. I think that I might be the kind of woman that some women would like to be ... in a way."

Then 52, Joan Collins remarked, "I think there's a certain attitude that I have in certain things that a lot of women admire. I think I have a sort of fighting spirit. Not a scrapper in that way. I don't like scraps. But in terms of having an innate belief in myself, which can't be negated by other people's opinions of me, so that that innate belief in what I can do and my potential has nurtured me through the years in which I was not particularly successful.

"I think I have a very good grounding in life. I had a solid upbringing, a very strict father and a very loving mother. I didn't come into this business all wide-eyed, thinking it was going to be fairyland. I knew it was going to be tough. It happens that I got to be very successful when I was very young, had my success, then sort of waned for a while.

"But it was good because I had time to have children and then I was lucky to be able to come back - even though I had to deal with rejection a lot, and a lot of difficulty. Actresses over 40 are considered, you know, psshhhhht. Put in the slag heap. I felt very strongly that wasn't right. I consciously wanted to make a point for myself. Then I realized I was also perhaps making a point for other women, not just actresses."

At the time, "I've been married three times. It's something I find rather nerve-racking, I must admit. I consider the marriages were successful. I had beautiful children from them. People change, you know? You change as the decades change. I'm certainly much different now than I was when I was 19 or 20. I am a Gemini. I have many different sides. I've got all sorts of different facets, you see.

"I think the facet the public is most familiar with is the in-control, slightly dominating, slightly assertive or aggressive, if you will, female. But that is not the way I am all the time. I have a certain amount of shyness. I think most actors do. I was very shy when I was a child. I think that could again be one of the reasons why the character I play on 'Dynasty' is popular. Although she's painted as a dire devil, she has a side that is quite warm and vulnerable and I think quite witty in a way.

"It's called acting. I based the character on a very good friend of mine who unfortunately died. She was a jet-setter. Very amusing, very interested in men and power, but very likable by both men and women. The part of Alexis I don't like particularly is the part the writers like. They're always writing in these nasty things for her to do, and saying how terrible she is. Four years ago, she blew up a gun at Krystle, who shouldn't have been riding a horse anyway when she was pregnant. I think she's Alexis probably made to be more bitchy … I think one of the things is the way I deliver the zingers (lacerating remarks) sometimes. I deliver quite a lot of zingers, which I like to do."

20181127

KATE AND MARCIA

'Charlie's Angels' was nominated for Best Drama at the Golden Globe Awards in 1977. Between 1977 and 1980, Kate Jackson got nominated three times for Best Acting on 'Charlie's Angels'. She was also nominated twice for Best Acting at the Emmy Awards. "That show seemed to throw us not only into every TV set every week but into every magazine on people's coffee tables," Kate Jackson recounted. 

Leonard Goldberg added, "I think, for whatever reason, when 'Charlie’s Angels' came along, it hit a nerve with women in the audience - women of all ages. And the guys didn’t mind looking at them either. It seemed to become part of the fabric of our society. Nothing we envisioned when we first started the show…" Director Allen Baron observed, "It was the right thing at the right time and it was just luck out."

'Charlie's Angels' first went on air four months before the 4th of July, 1976, the year Americans celebrated 200 years of independence. Kate Jackson continued, "People took everything we did as so important. There was too much hype … That was an extraordinary circumstance. Being in the middle of it was like a whirlwind. People were constantly milling around my house. I'd be sitting in my living room and flashbulbs would start to go off outside."

Toward the end of the 1977-78 TV season, Kate Jackson gave herself a deadline, "When I'm 31 (born 1948), and that's in a couple of years, I want to get married. I still believe very much in marriage but nevertheless, I want to time everything right. I don't want to mess everything up. I don't want to make some poor man unhappy, and I want to bring my kids up properly.

"I would like to be a good mother but still have my career. Once I have a family though, I definitely will slack off a little. But as for love and marriage to any particular person, that's not in my mind at the moment. I'm seeing a few nice guys (including Warren Beatty, Nick Nolte, Scott Hyland, Eddie Albert jr, Sam Elliot) but I'm not going to talk about them. Whether I marry one of them is yet to be seen. Frankly, not one of them has asked me yet."

Of one suitor, "We're not talking about marriage. Perhaps that's how it will be for a while, despite my good marriage intentions. In the end, possibly work and marriage don't mix. I see that all around Hollywood. Since the series started I've stopped smoking, drinking and believe it or not, staying out late. My sex life ain't so hot either. My current sins are confined to soda pop - but one way and another, I’m sure having fun."

Before Meryl Streep was cast to play Joanna in the 1979 movie, 'Kramer vs. Kramer', Kate Jackson, Faye Dunaway and Jane Fonda were considered for the part. Producer Alan J. Adler mentioned, "Kate Jackson had a very high recognition factor, something like 97%. You want a woman doing a role who is well-known. The audience loves her..."

Another popular entertainer at the time was Marcia Hines. In 1970, Marcia Hines came to Australia after she answered Jim Sharman's advertisement in a Boston newspaper auditioning black people to join the Australian cast of the musical 'Hair'. She was a shy, scared 16-year-old, who was unmarried and three-month pregnant. "When I got here, hell, I was frightened. I was on my own. I had to look after myself, and I knew nothing," Marcia recalled.

Unbeknownst to many, Marcia Hines eventually rose to become the country's Queen of Pop and an Australian singing success story. In 1977, Marcia Hines and drummer Mark Kennedy decided to split after two and a half years together. Of a reconciliation, "It is never the same when you go back into a relationship." In November 1977, the song 'You' topped the chart. At the time, Marcia's manager Peter Rix told the press, "I think they are just enjoying a holiday (or vacation) apart at the moment. When the novelty wears off, they'll probably realize something is missing. They are still the best of friends and continue to work together."

Marcia Hines first played Mary Magdalene in 'Jesus Christ Superstar' until February 1974. Speaking to the press in August 1983, Marcia Hines explained playing Mary Magdalene in the revival of the musical, "There's only one part that a woman can play in 'Superstar' and that's Mary. I only sing three songs so I get fidgety. But I like to sit on the side of the stage and with (co-star) Trevor (White) perform. You can never stop learning. I like theater – I like the discipline it teaches you – so I'm really glad they've asked me to do it again."

In a frank interview with reporter Jill Fraser in May 1983, Marcia Hines, then 29, stated, "I've been a very independent person for the past 16 years (since 1968). I was a single mother at 16 and I had to learn to cope on my own. If there is any struggle to come within our relationship (with Frenchman Andre de Carpentry), it will come when I have to give up a little of my independence. 

"My independence has been my strength and that strength has kept me on my own two feet over the years. If I give it up, I won't be the same person. To remain independent – and married – is going to be a very difficult job. The easiest thing I could have done was to get married and stop working, but I never had any thoughts about marriage being the comfortable way out. 

"Andre married me the way I am and we both accepted each other for what we are. He was one of the few men I've gone out with who was in favor of working wives. The others were prepared to keep me, but Andre realizes how important my work is to me. Having a baby is like continually unwrapping some wonderful present. There's always so much joy associated with it. 

"It's early on in the piece for Andre and I just yet (at the time they spent more time apart than together), but I do look forward to such a time. I feel confident about having a child on my own again (daughter Deni Hines was 12 at the time), but having to share that child with someone will be a very new experience and a very difficult one for me. I just adore children and I never fall into the trap of underestimating them. Deni kept me sane when I was younger. Being young and having the responsibility of a baby was a steadying influence on me. In retrospect, it was a nightmare. But I'd do it all over again if I had to."


20181113

DYNASTY

Concerned about her "superbitch" image, Joan Collins spoke to the press at the end of the 1981-82 TV season of 'Dynasty', "Everywhere I turn I hear knives coming out. I can almost feel a trickle of blood from between my shoulder blades. And it's crazy. I can understand people having a ruthless and cruel image of me from films like 'The Bitch' (1979) or 'The Stud' (1978). But that's years ago.

"Here I am in Beverly Hills cooking my daughter's (Katie) supper and playing Scrabble with friends. Yet I'm supposed to be living it up every night. I want to shatter these illusions. I'm really a loving mother and a faithful wife. I'm no more that lady having Vermouth spilled over her by Leonard Rossiter than I am the character I'm playing at the moment. I seem to have this image of a sort of scarlet woman over here (in the US)."

In 1978, Joan Collins' autobiography, 'Past Imperfect', was published. In the book, Joan Collins chose to discuss about Katie because "I want to help other parents in a similar situation. I said if God gave Katie back to me, nothing in the world would ever be more important. No one seems interested in the fact that I did 25 charity shows in the previous 12 months (in 1981), and for four years I've supported financially a child in Biafra."

On 'Dynasty', "Alexis (47 in 1982) really is quite a girl. Blake married her at 17 (around 1952) and taught her everything she knew. Then he caught her playing around and threw her out (in 1965) without any hesitation. When she's brought back (in 1981) into the family scene by an accident, she tries to steal him away from Krystle, whom he has since married. You could also say she has family problems. Her daughter Fallon has become a nympho and her son Steven, because of lack of attention, has gone gay. There's lots of sex and innuendo (on 'Dynasty'). It's all very naughty without being nude. Blake even rapes Krystle at one point."

In a conversation with her stepdaughter, Sean Derek, recounted in June 1985, Linda Evans expressed, "Some people have a tendency to think about the power and the stardom from their personal perspectives. They assume that power makes you more important than them in some way. Unfortunately, society is geared towards putting more importance on those who make the bigger money and have a certain authoritarian position. That's something that always offended me to some degree.

"Just because I do a job that's highly rewarding doesn't mean that my feelings are more important than anyone else's. It just makes me more fortunate. Also, I came to realize after working on 'Big Valley' (1965-69) that this is not going to last forever. I'm honest enough with myself to know that it all changes. One day you're the greatest thing since sliced bread then pretty soon someone new comes along and they're the greatest thing since sliced bread.

"The problem is that sometimes, with all the attention and available power, people begin to believe that they really are more important and deserving than others. I certainly admit that it makes me happy when people enjoy my work. But I also realize that for a time I'm in a wonderful position with incredible opportunities doing things that people dream about."

On 'Dynasty', Nolan Miller spawned a new kind of woman in popular culture - women with a sense of empowerment - with the help of shoulder pads. Gina Silverstein of 'Costume Designers Guild' reported in 2011, "Miller's shoulder pads went beyond helping to define the silhouette as they had during World War II. His masculine shapes progressively became a symbol of women's attempt to break the glass ceiling to get ahead. The cultural effect at the time was virtually unparalleled.

"Miller says he especially knew he had hit upon something when he saw thirteen-year-old girls dressing up like Alexis and Paris couture houses mimicking his designs. Creating international fashion trends can be risky, though, and this was no exception. While the shoulder pads were huge in every sense of the word and undoubtedly helped to bring about financial opportunities with the launch of 'The Dynasty Collection' for the masses, Miller's costume designing could easily have been eclipsed by it.

"Fortunately, his exceptional talent and passion for costume design created a legacy that has outlasted any fashion trend. While Miller worked with average budgets for most of the Aaron Spelling shows, 'Dynasty' was in a league of its own. 'It spoiled me a great deal because I don't think there will ever be another television show with a budget like that for clothes,' he says. '(Spelling) wanted everyone to look good and he understood that it cost money.'

"Miller's weekly expenditures reached $35,000 and when there was a special episode such as a wedding, he spent more. In 1985, at the height of 'Dynasty's' popularity, the 'Moldavian Massacre' season finale was watched by 60 million viewers. With a budget of $150,000, Miller created costume grandeur among the chaos. The episode centered on Blake and Alexis’ daughter, Amanda, played by Catherine Oxenberg, who was in Moldavia marrying its crown prince.

"Miller designed an exquisite wedding dress for Oxenberg of heavy Italian silk satin with hand embroidered ivory and white flowers and pearls. After terrorists interrupt the ceremony with a hail of bullets, the entire cast lay on the floor of the chapel, including the bride-to-be. It was a cliff-hanger that 'Entertainment Weekly' recently named as one of the most unforgettable in the history of prime-time dramas. Despite the carnage, knock-off versions of Miller’s dress appeared in weddings everywhere that summer. The year before, in 1984, Miller launched his own women’s apparel line, 'The Dynasty Collection', based in part on the costumes he had been designing for Collins and Evans."

20181110

DYNASTY

In its review of the 2006 TV special on CBS, 'Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar', 'The New York Times' noted, "'Dynasty' wasn't just about big hair, big shoulders and catfights in the lily pond. The ABC series was the fictional libretto of the Reagan presidency — the triumph of a glittering gerontocracy. Most eras look innocent in a rearview mirror, but nowadays (in 2006), especially, those bad old days of plutocrats, ladies who lunch and junk-bond buccaneers look almost sweet. 

"Insider trading was their white-collar crime; Grenada was the closest they came to war. 'Dynasty' might not have changed television history, but its enormous success was itself a milestone. This nighttime soap would have been fun anytime, but it had a special piquancy because it so campily mirrored the extravagances and vanities of the early years of the Reagan White House." 

Larry King, 2006: What was Aaron Spelling's magic as a producer?

Linda Evans: He knew people. He had a sense of people and I think because he understood people he could give them what they wanted to see.

Joanne Ostrow of the 'Denver Post' reminded, "In its emphasis on excess and the celebration of diva-dom, television's 'Dynasty' verged on camp, and knew it. Aaron Spelling and company gave the Reagan-era public what it craved, winking at the same time. 'Dynasty' began at a time when the Big Three networks still held a monopoly on mainstream entertainment, if not taste.

"During the 1980s, before the fragmentation of its audience, television could still amass 40 million viewers for a regular network drama. (It was noted by the start of the 1985-86 season some 100 million people in 90 countries watched 'Dynasty' each week). In the post-'Dynasty' melodramas, the demographics skewed younger, the clothes grew skimpier and the sex more graphic, but the soap-opera roots were the same. Good and evil battled for supremacy, with scheming family members, heightened emotions and a thick overlay of eroticism.

"Of course, 'Dynasty' is a relic from a time that no longer exists. But the campy underside is alive and well – if living in less opulence – on 'Desperate Housewives'. The suburban women of Wisteria Lane display the same florid passions, the same flair for scheming and cattiness, and the same emphasis on appearances, though in a lower tax bracket."

On 'Dynasty', Blake Carrington was "the man-in-the-middle" of tussles between two fearless women in their pursuit of love, money and power, Krystle Grant and Alexis Morrell. Joan Collins as Alexis explained in 1982, "It worries me that people think Alexis Carrington is who I am. I'd like the audience to think I'm slightly sending up the whole thing when I'm acting. When I was offered the part I couldn't wait to do it. I like the thought of playing a character people will love to hate.

"And I know I play those roles well. I've done them since I was 16 when I made my first movie. I played a wayward girl in 'I Believe In You' (1952). The trouble is, if people find out that I'm not really like that, then it confuses them. I came to Hollywood in the really lean days (1955) when television was just starting to take over." 'Dynasty' was credited for making Joan Collins a household name and one of TV's top draw cards.

One commentator told 'The Los Angeles Times' in 1985, Linda Evans was probably the female TV star "best liked by women." At 40, Linda Evans told the press in 1982, "I'm a very strong person. People don't realize that, and I didn't give myself credit for it until recently. Somehow, things just come later in life for me … I represent several important issues. I am older, attractive, single and good. I'm one of the first women to say you're not too old for anything at 40. I've gone through some incredible tests and come out on top. There are millions out there who can relate to that."

In creating the hair with the look of the '80s, Gene Shacove styled Linda Evans with "blunt-cut, shoulder-length hairstyle (that) perfectly frames her face." At the time only 10% of all roles were played by women over 40. Timothy Blake chaired Screen Actors Guild's Women's Conference Committee told 'The Los Angeles Times' in 1987, "In the past few years we have been fortunate to have shows like 'Falcon Crest,' 'Dynasty' and 'Knots Landing' that feature adult women as main characters."

Pamela Sue Martin played Alexis' daughter, Fallon, made the comment, "Bitchery is superficial quality. I like to think there's depth to Fallon, a soul. She's fighting for what she believes in and lashes out at anyone who threatens her." Esther Shapiro insisted, "'Dynasty' is like a glass of champagne between friends and lovers. Nothing more. I think we need fantasy in our lives. Fun and fantasy shows are not the place for (topical issues). I don't believe in trivialising such important subjects. It would be irresponsible to deal with them on this show."

In September 1988, costume designer Nolan Miller launched his first ready-to-wear retail line. The collection included 80 outfits for day, dinner and evening, as well as a select few negligees. Speaking to 'The Los Angeles Times' from his salon in Beverly Hills in 1990, Nolan Miller made known, "It's very difficult to be taken seriously in another medium. The New York press and designers say, 'Oh well, he's a costumer.' But I made a mistake. I made subtle, understated clothes and every store, even Bergdorf Goodman, wanted sexy dresses for women with perfect figures."

Scott Pierce recounted in 2006, "'Dynasty' was a really good bad show for a while. Hey, I can remember getting together with a bunch of my college friends — male and female — to watch the show back in the early '80s. We'd laugh, we'd yell at the TV, we'd cheer for Krystle, we'd hiss at Alexis. It was the ultimate guilty pleasure. 'Dynasty' was addictive while going way over the top at being campy, ridiculous, fluffy entertainment that wallowed in excess. 'Dynasty' became so much a part of the pop culture that a 1983 episode featured cameo appearances by former President and Mrs. Ford and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (playing themselves)."

20181105

SUZI QUATRO

Speaking to the UK 'Sunday Express' in 2015, Suzi Quatro noted, "I don't think that many people have walked through the door that I opened. It's not an easy job. It's just not. It needs a lot of stamina. On one tour for example, I was singing 27 songs a night!" 

Talking to 'Madhouse' magazine, Suzi Quatro added, "I thought there was going to be loads taking up my mantle, but there hasn't been. You know, this is not a job for the faint-hearted. It's a very difficult job, you have to have so much stamina and tough exterior just to survive. But you also gotta be liquid inside and be able to just roll with the punches. Like that bass guitars weighs more than I do but I mean I pick it up and I play it. You know I'm doing 52 years on the road now. That's a lot of grease, buses, planes, trains, dressing rooms, sleepless nights, I mean the list goes on and on but I love it so I still do it." 

'Pennyblackmusic', 2012: In your autobiography, 'Unzipped' (published in 2007), you mentioned that there was a burgeoning music scene in Detroit born of desperation: a 'gotta get out of this place' feeling. What did you mean by that? 

Suzi Quatro: Detroit is a survivor city. We are proud to come from there and also proud to survive and exist elsewhere. It is a city of extremes: rich, poor, black, white, energy, lethargy. In a way I have never left that city. 

Suzy Quatro also explained to the 'Mancunian Matters' in 2017, "All industrial cities have this desperation in the drinking water to make something of yourself." In 1971, Suzi Quatro, then 21, came to England to work with record producer Mickie Most, "It was lonely but the choice was staying there and maybe sinking without a trace or going off and being a solo act, which is what I always was. 

"So it was the right thing to do businesswise and very hard emotionally. But I wouldn't have had it any other way. I've always been a gypsy. I went on the road at 14 and I'm now 66 (in March 2017). I think when I get to heaven I'm going to have a rolling bag. Otherwise, I can’t get in the door. I think you need to have the tools to deal with success because it's not easy. You have to have stamina and you have to have your feet on the ground." 

As told to 'Madhouse', "I had a 9-year apprenticeship before I had my own gig. I came over here (to the UK) in '71 and was signed. Then by '73 I had my first No. 1 hit. Now what I'm saying isn't egotistical, but it's the truth. I wasn't surprised when all that began to happen because I had believed in myself and I was always waiting for that to happen. Then when it happened I was like 'yup here we are.' You gotta have that belief or you'll never go anywhere." 

She also told ​Lisa Torem, "Suzi Quatro is real. Otherwise it would not have worked for so long, but there are two sides. That is why I wrote my autobiography in two people. Both are necessary for my survival. The child in me is such an important part. It balances the famous one. One cannot exist without the other, and this is also the reason why I am normal and approachable. I am not a gender person. I do what I like, when I like, how I like and damned be anyone who stands in my way. I will always keep going, even though I am thin skinned. I will walk through the fire. Nobody stops me from going where I intend to go." 

​Dennis Morgillo, 2016: Now on the flip side you were very groundbreaking and influential yourself. You created the mold and then broke it, you were the first bass playing female rockstar in an all male band. Did you realize how important that was at the time? ​ 

Suzi Quatro: Well, it's not the reason I did what I did. I did it because I had to do it and I loved it. But to be honest I never thought of myself as a girl musician, I just thought of myself as a musician. As I look back on it now (in 2016) I see the importance in it. I think the reason it was me who broke the mold though was because I didn't do gender. I just went out there and did my stuff and didn't think too much. But now looking back, yes I am pretty proud of basically giving permission for other female artists to do what I did. 

Suzi Quatro also stated, "Everything I do is two-handed. I started to write with my left, but my teacher made me use my right hand. I play baseball and golf, left-handed. I type like the wind. I am able to multi-think musically. Always could. Therefore, singing lead and playing bass was never any problem. I always knew one day I would write about my experiences. I even collected all the hotel room keys on my first ever year on the road! Some people would call it 'anal'. 

"I have an excellent memory. All emotional things I remember in detail. I am an artist. They either end up as a poem or a song, but, of course, to write about them, you have to go back and 'walk through the fire' again, and feel all the pain for a second time. I was glad to come out the other side. I have spent most of my life looking in phone books for another S.Q. I have never found one, which makes me think - maybe I am the real Suzi Q!"   

Speaking to Dan Beazley of 'Newcastle Live' in 2015, Suzi Quatro made the comment, "There’s a certain energy in Detroit. You can't explain it, but it exists in all industrial cities. I have been touring in Australia regularly since 1974, and have actually lost count of how many times I have been there, but I think this tour (in 2015) will be number 29. It is my second home and I love it dearly. This year (2015) I celebrated my 50th year (dating back to 1964) in the business and it just felt like the right time to take my final bow. It's a daunting prospect and one I am preparing seriously for." 

On the topic of the evolution of women in rock 'n' roll, Suzi Quatro made the observation, "Rock 'n' roll is not dead. There’s some good bands coming along. It’s changed, but the music is still there. Rock 'n' roll will never die. What I did I’m still doing, but I don't see people taking up the banner. Don't get me wrong there are some great artists coming through and I hear great stuff on the radio, but there’s not many Suzies coming through. And it's not easy, you’ve got to have the strength of a thousand elephants. I mean the bass weighs more than I do. I’m a woman, a mother, a wife and a rocker. It’s kind of like juggling act. Men don’t have to juggle. You guys have convinced people that you can only do one thing at a time." 

Of writing song, "I think the song writing is based more on my piano knowledge. When I want to write a straight forward rock song I will go to the guitar and do the song on that. It's natural. If I want to write a more complicated song I play piano. But I’ve written songs on a number of different instruments including the drums." 

Suzi also told Mick Burgess of 'Metal Express Radio' in 2017, "Every album that I did highlighted my work as a songwriter as I've written the majority of the material on my albums. My fans know my work and I think that I'm a good writer. Some of my songs have been out as singles and some have been recorded by other people. I'm a prolific writer … Mike Chapman always used to say that my songs were the meat of the album. That's a real compliment and means a lot to me as a serious songwriter." 

Question: How did you approach song writing back then? 

Suzi Quatro: 98% of the time I get a title. That suggests the tempo and that will suggest if I write it on guitar which I'm not so good at or piano, which I'm very good at. If I want a rock song, I'll go to the guitar or if I want a more musical song, I'll go with the piano. If I just want the beat I might write it on the bass. Every song is different but I usually end up with a line that becomes the start of a verse or the start of a chorus. As a songwriter, I just open my channels and let everything flow. It can get noisy at times with all those channels open. I don't question anything, I just listen and start. It's a very organic process, I just love writing. 

Question: How much did working with songwriters like (Nicky) Chinn and Chapman develop you as a writer? 

Suzi Quatro: I learned how to craft a song in three minutes. They were disciplined in that way. I just tended to write what felt right but Mike would suggest something to make it better and I'd cut it down to three minutes.

On reflection, "Detroit is in my heart and soul. I can never get rid of it and I don't want to get rid of it. There's a feeling of putting your foot on the gas and going. You never get the level of energy from anywhere else than you get from Detroit bands. It has a great musical pedigree. I was talking to Ted Nugent a while back and I've known him for ever and the guys out of MC5 too and we all love our heavy rock but all we wanted to do was talk Motown. Although we were rock acts some of their moves and flow came through in the DNA. We all loved it."

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