March 31, 2019

20,000 Vinyl LPs 176: Rolf Harris ~ The Original Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport


Yesterday was the birthday of Rolf Harris; i had intended to post this yesterday but I blew it. There are many songs that made me smile, laugh out loud and brought me unbridled pleasure; Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport from the album, Sun Arise, by Harris is one of them. 
Rolf Harris ~ Sun Arise    
vinyl LP front cover detail

Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport was written in 1957 but didn't become a hit until the 1960s with two recordings (1960 in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and 1963 with a re-recording of his song in the United States). Inspired by the Harry Belafonte calypsos (I didn't know this until I started writing this article), it is about an Australian stockman on his deathbed. The song is one of the best-known and most successful Australian songs.     

The song is delightful with it's boingy, distinctive sound of the use of an instrument of Harris' own design called the "wobble board"—a two-by-three-foot piece of hardboard.      

I will always remember the first time I heard the song with the punch line ending, "So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde, and that's it hanging on the shed". I burst out laughing!    
Harris was born on 30 March 1930 in Bassendean, Perth, Western Western Australia.             


Side 1:

A1 - Sun Arise - 2:25
A2 - The Big Black Hat - 2:12
A3 - Living It Up - 1:42
A4 - Nick Teen And Al K. Hall - 3:06
A5 - Hair Oil On My Ears - 3:15
A6 - In The Wet - 3:15

Side 2:

B1 - Johnny Day - 2:31
B2 - Mighty Thunderer - 2:24
B3 - Ground Hog - 2:29
B4 - Someone's Pinched My Winkles - 3:03
B5 - I’ve Been Everywhere - 2:19
B6 - Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport - 3:02


    Directed By [Orchestra] – Johnnie Spence


Title on the cover and spine is "The Original Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport & Sun Arise". The title on the back and on the labels is "The Original Sun Arise".
Barcode and Other Identifiers

    Matrix / Runout (Side 1): XEM-59418-1F
    Matrix / Runout (Side 2): XEM-59419-1F

Rolf Harris ‎– The Original Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport & Sun Arise
Label: Epic ‎– LN 24053
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
Country: US
Released: 1963
Genre: Pop, Children's, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Novelty

Viewfinder links:            
Rolf Harris            
Ned Kelly & Mick Jagger             
Net links:               
Daily Mail ~ 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport' was racist'    
Song Facts ~ Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport     
YouTube links:              
             The fun songs:
The Big Black Hat         
Ground Hog         
Hair Oil On My Ears          
In The Wet        
Nick Teen And Al K. Hall       
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport (original version)                     

             The serious songs:        
Mighty Thunderer      
Sun Arise     


Happy belated birthday, Mate!

Styrous® ~ Sunday, March 31, 2019  

March 28, 2019

Victoria and Albert Museum ~ Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains


On March 28, 1994, Pink Floyd released the progressive rock album, The Division Bell, by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and on 4 April by Columbia Records in the United States. Pink Floyd artist Storm Thorgerson positioned two gigantic heads in a cold wintry field near Ely, Cambridgeshire to create the iconic album cover shoot in early 1994. The heads were devised by artist Keith Breeden and constructed by John Robertson.  

I had the wonderful fortune to see The Division Bell tour in April of 1994 at the Oakland Coliseum. It was the last concert by Pink Floyd as a group. During the concert they performed one of my favorite songs which is actually from A Momentary Lapse of Reason. It was the fantastically beautiful Learning To Fly cut with its glorious choral backup (link below).    

The huge metal heads that are on the cover of The Division Bell were shown in an exhibition, Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Running from Saturday 13th May to Sunday 1st October 2017, the exhibition celebrated the 50th anniversary of the band’s debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and inaugural single Arnold Layne.   

photos from Victoria & Albert Museum & other sources (links below)

Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains, Victoria and Albert Museum - 2017
photo by Tim P. Whitby/gettyimages

Viewfinder links:      
all things Pink (Floyd)      
The Division Bell CD & blue glass bell    
The Division Bell blue vinyl LP       
Net links:      
Consequence of Sound ~ Cool Things at Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains     
Imagine Exhibitions ~ Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains    
Planet Rock ~ V&A museum: Pink Floyd exhibition        
YouTube links:      
Victoria & Albert Museum ~ Their Mortal Remains (39' 39")       
Pink Floyd - Their Mortal Remains (trailer 30 sec.)       
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains (interview)     
Pink Floyd - 
      High Hopes (Official video)  
      Learning To Fly (Official video)         
      Marooned (Official video)         
      The Division Bell Tour - Oakland 1994 (2 hr., 30 min., 44 sec.) 
      The Division Bell Tour - Rotterdam 1994 (2 hr., 20 min., 33   
Styrous® ~ Thursday, March 28, 2019           


March 26, 2019

Sweets Ballroom ~ Jitterbugging in the Forties Update

Sweets Ballroom souvenir photo folder - 1945 
photo by Styrous®
Six years ago this month, actually, I wrote about an adventure I had when I was a kid (link below). I mentioned a photo I had lost track of that had been taken of me during that adventure.   
Last year, about this same time actually, I was going through one of the dozens of boxes of unknown photographs I have been storing for decades and found that photograph taken on June 24, 1945.   

Sweets Ballroom souvenir photo 
by a Sweets photographer
photos by Styrous®





Viewfinder link:                  
Sweets Ballroom ~ Jitterbugging in the Forties    
And yes, I'm still dancin'!

Styrous® ~ March 26, 2019   

Tamotsu Yatō articles/mentions

Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan   
Philip Glass ~ Mishima   
Tamotsu Yatō   
date & photographer unknown    

March 24, 2019

Something Blue . . . Closing


Blue inspired images were on display for a little over a month at the Gray Loft Gallery. They were selected by Ann M. Jastrab from an array of traditional and alternative photographic processes by Bay Area photographers.     

The exhibition was extraordinary! 

photos by Styrous® 




Steve Nakashima, Jan Watten & Minoo Hamzavi         

                                                                                   Cromwell Schubarth & Jessica Chen       

Viewfinder links:      
Peter Dreyfus      
Gray Loft Gallery    
J. M. Golding      
Minoo Hamzavi      
Ann Jastrab         
Julia Nelson-Gal         
Something Blue . . .          
Jan Watten       
Net links:      
Peter Dreyfus     
Minoo Hamzavi               
GLG articles ~ Something Blue…             
Ann Jastrab   
Julia Nelson-Gal       
Jan Watten        

Styrous® ~ Sunday, March 24, 2019       


March 23, 2019

Dick Dale ~ Magician of the guitar

Dick Dale, "The King of the Surf Guitar", died a week ago on Saturday, March 16th. At the time of his death, he had tour dates scheduled into November, 2019. He was 81 years old.

Dale was born Richard Anthony Monsour in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 4, 1937. He was of Lebanese descent from his father, James, and of Polish-Belarusian descent from his mother, Fern. He learned the piano when he was nine, was given a trumpet in seventh grade, and later acquired a ukulele (for $6 part exchange), after having become influenced by Hank Williams. The first song he played on it was Tennessee Waltz; a 1950 recording of the song by Patti Page would become a Top 40 Hit. He was also influenced by his uncle, who taught him how to play the tarabaki and the oud.

Dick Dale - 1970 
photographer unknown

According to Fender (link below), while in the ukulele phase, Dale originally wanted to be a country singer; fortunately he graduated to the guitar which he bought from a friend for $8, paying him back on installments. He learned to play it, using a combination of styles incorporating both lead and rhythm styles, so that the guitar filled the place of drums. His early tarabaki drumming later influenced his guitar playing, particularly his rapid alternate picking technique. Dale referred to this as "the pulsation", noting all instruments he played derived from the tarabaki.

He was raised in Quincy, Massachusetts until he completed the eleventh grade at Quincy High School in 1954, when his father, a machinist, took a job working for Hughes Aircraft Company in the Southern California aerospace industry in El Segundo, California. Dale spent his senior year at and graduated from Washington Senior High School. He retained a strong interest in Arabic music, which later played a major role in his development of surf rock music. He learned to surf at the age of 17.

Dale did a cover of the 1927 Greek rebetiko / tsifteteli composition Miserlou which had been a big hit in the 40's; Dale updated it to a surf rock hit in the 60's and performed it on the Ed Sullivan show in 1963; he sings as well. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones also performed it in the 1963 film, A Swingin Affair (links below). The song was the opening for the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction (link below). 

Dick Dale and the Del-Tones also appeared in the 1964 film, Muscle Beach Party, with Stevie Wonder who was thirteen years old at the time and billed as "Little Stevie Wonder." Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello and Don Rickles were also in the film.  

He has been called the "Father of Heavy Metal". This is admirably demonstrated with videos of him performing Nitro during a broadcast on KEXP (link below), when he performed with Stevie Ray Vaughn in 1987. He influenced the The Beach Boys, The Cure, Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix, among others.       

Dick Dale - 1962

His interests spread far beyond music. He was a licensed pilot and had an air strip at his property in Wonder Valley. He recollected training under martial arts masters; speeding on a motorcycle at 170 mph and fearlessly going into the cages of tigers and lions.

Dick Dale astride his 1941 WLD 45 Flathead Harley-Davidson 
date & photographer unknown 

However, he admitted playing a gig at Disneyland in 1998 made him a little nervous — he performed atop Space Mountain without a safety harness.   

Viewfinder links:         
Dick Dale articles/mentions            
Jimi Hendrix       
Patti Page           
The Beach Boys           
Hank Williams          
Net links:         
AARP obit         
The Mercury News obit       
NPR obit         
NY Times obit       
Phoenix New Times obit         
Surfline obit        
Washington Post obit       
YouTube links:         
Dick Dale ~ Nitro  (Live on KEXP)       
                 ~ Smoke on the Water     
Dick Dale & Stevie Ray Vaughan ~ Pipeline (1987)      
Ed Sullivan Show ~ Miserlou (1963)          
A Swingin Affair, with the Del Tones ~ Miserlou (1963)         
Pulp Fiction - Opening Credits   
date & photographer unknown
Styrous® ~ Saturday, March 16, 2019              


March 22, 2019

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
photo of book by Styrous®

A friend of mine recently received an extraordinary birthday present; it is a first U. S. edition of the images of photographer Tamotsu Yato published by Grove Press, Inc. in 1967.         

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
detail photo of page by Styrous®

Entitled, Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan, the book features iconic black-and-white portraits of over fifty of Japan’s most devoted bodybuilders – nicknamed a new breed of samurai for their rigorous training and tirelessly refined figures.      

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
detail photo of page by Styrous®

It's not just the images of the bodybuilders that are remarkable but the construction and binding of the book as well. In addition, the book was edited by Keizo Aizawa, there is an essay by Hitoshi Tamari and an introduction by the great Japanese writer, actor, film director and bodybuilder, Yukio Mishima who is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century, (link below).

Mishima's life was depicted in the 1985 film, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters; Philip Glass composed the score for the film (links below).       

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
 photo by Tamotsu Yato
photo of pages by Styrous®

Tamotsu Yato (矢頭 保 Yatō Tamotsu, 1928(?), was a Japanese photographer and occasional actor responsible for pioneering Japanese homoerotic photography and creating iconic black-and-white images of the Japanese male. He was a friend and collaborator of Mishima and film critic Donald Richie as well as a long-term romantic partner of Meredith Weatherby, an expatriate American publisher and translator of Mishima's works into English.          

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
detail photo of page by Styrous®

Although Yato's work received only a limited public distribution, it has attained a cult following and has been acknowledged as a major influence by a number of artists working with male erotica. Graphic artist Sadao Hasegawa remarks in his Paradise Visions:
"Tamotsu Yato achieved fame by creating Otoko, a picture book. He photographed Yukio Mishima, nude. His subjects: traditional, muscular, unsophisticated countryside men, are mostly extinct today. Otoko was valuable because you could see these long-bodied, stout-legged, cropped hair, square-jawed men... Good-bye, men of Nippon!"           

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
photo of page by Styrous®

Tamotsu Yato published three volumes of photography:    
  • Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan (1966)
  • Naked festival: A Photo-Essay (1969)  
  • Otoko: Photo-Studies of the Young Japanese Male (1972)     

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
detail photo of page by Styrous®

Suicidal and with family conflict, friends said Yato's first visit to a gay bar in Osaka was in 1956. That was when he met Weatherby. Ten years senior to Yato, Weatherby became lover, benefactor, mentor and promoter in an open relationship as they co-existed with filmmaker Ritchie. It was early in this period that Weatherby encouraged Yato to become a photographer.      

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
photo of page by Styrous®

When Yukio Mishima committed seppuku (hara-kiri, a ritualized suicide) in 1970, Weatherby broke off the relationshjp with Yato. Yato was exiled to a seedy suburb and his life spiraled into anger, bitterness and substance abuse. Tamotsu Yato died of an enlarged heart in May, 1973.         

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
photo of book back cover by Styrous®

After his death, friends discovered Yato’s apartment had been ransacked and the cameras and equipment had disappeared. Only a few negatives and photographs remained. An estranged brother appeared and threatened lawsuits if anybody republished the work.  
What has survived exists in two places – Tokyo and San Diego. There was never a reprinting of any of Yato's books. Except for his three books, his work was never publicly shown and the type of men represented within Otoko have disappeared from Japanese society. Nevertheless, Yato maintains a cult following and is cited as a major influence by several male erotic photographers. The pictures he produced are classic.        

Tamotsu Yato ~ Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan
 photos by Tamotsu Yato
photo of book by Styrous®
Viewfinder links:        
Philip Glass             
Philip Glass ~ Mishima          
Yukio Mishima         
Tamotsu Yatō       
Net links:        
Tamotsu Yato - 1956
photographer unknown

Styrous® ~ Friday, March 22, 2019