Monday, 21 June 2010

Diva in a dive.

At South Sydney Leagues Club in the Will Dower Sounds band with Ricky May, late sixties, I witnessed something that was to me at once amazing and sad. Carmen is a name that has been adopted by generations of strippers, but Carmen Christie, appearing that day was unique. She was a stripper who sang or a singer who stripped depending on the eye and ear of the beholder.

Well, it was a Sunday, so I guess what happened was not totally out of place. Carmen finished her routine of sensual undressing, a garment coming off at the end of each song, bawdy ditties all, until at last, completely nude, she was chased off to thunderous applause from her appreciative audience of music lovers and pervs. But then, completely unrehearsed, she came back, placed a chart on each music stand and hurried back to stage front and the microphone.

She was no longer nude. A ring had been clipped around her neck from which hung ankle length strings of beads. Of course her pink nippled and medically enhanced breasts protruded dramatically from between the cascade of blue baubles as she moved up to thank her audience while we boggled at the title of her chosen encore.

Les Dempsey on piano offered an arpeggio to give her the key. She paused for effect then started low and built the tension while the room hushed, first in surprise and then in awe as her voice swelled to fill the room. We were all caught up in the totally unexpected as she emotionally, dramatically and sweetly seduced us into her story of the semi-classical and totally religious song, Jerusalem.

It was bizarre. But at the end, with the audience ignoring her semi-nudity and applauding her musical talent, I watched her leave, round undulating buttocks peeping proudly between swirls of tinkling glass and wondered what might have been.

13 comments:

  1. Bizarre and especially sad to me, the mother of a singer. (alternate title: Jerusalem in Beads)

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  2. Ha! You dirty ol' man, you! ;-)

    I love the redemption of the "artist" at the end (no pun intended).

    Well done and fun!

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  3. Willow and oodoozo, thanks. 'Tales of the famous and not so famous' are of real people and real events. Actually I admit to having always felt sympathy for Carmen who was a legend around the less solubrious gigs. But I also suspect she saw herself as more user than used! In later years she did a double act with her daughter!

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  4. Mooloolaba must seem pretty quiet after those earlier days! Nice story and great telling, as usual.

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  5. Another interesting tale Stafford.

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  6. It's nice to find another Aussie writer in the blogging world :)

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  7. Oh my. I didn't realize it was based on a real people. Still, it is a nice tale and well written.

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  8. Burlesque !
    Baubles : Bangles :
    The " Swirl of The Breast "
    Slow " Sensuous " Movements
    Sweet Carmen Did Best
    Audience in Rapture
    A View From Afar
    How " Sexy " The Music
    From Staffords " Mean Guitar"

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  9. No matter what the tale you tell it well! Always look forward to your posts. :-)

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  10. Thanks Carrie, there are many more coming!
    Meleah, thank you. These people were (are) true eccentrics. I am only their 'minutes secretary'.

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  11. * Titillation in Twirls *
    * Tongue - Tied Testosterone *

    Such a Terrible Price To Pay Stafford

    Should to be a law against such * Disturbing * working conditions ...

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  12. Now I've heard it all Stafford
    An " Arpeggio " eh??
    H'mmmm,
    " The Old Boggle The Mind Trick Again "

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