Saturday, March 29, 2008


I have written about Dory Previn here before. Beside co-writing the gloriously bad score for Valley of the Dolls and the less camp and catchy "Come Saturday Morning", she wrote what is perhaps the best song about Mia Farrow who would run off with her husband and collaborator Andre Previn. For years I've heard about "Beware of Young Girls" but had never actually heard it. Lo and behold, there was Dory's angry early solo effort On My Way to Where with that very tune on it for a mere 150 pennies at the Community Thrift Store this afternoon. Really, who needs a Virgin Megastore's V.I.P. plan when you have this incredible resource?

The often cited irony, of course, was that this tune would prove more than prophetic for Mia when her own adopted daughter would replay the drama Dory outlined in the early 1970s some two decades later.

Totally unrelated but of greater musical interest is rediscovering Joe Venuti in Chicago, 1978 which features tunes such as "Samba de Orpheus" when old Joe was 75. I remember the bewildered look of the clerk at Wilcox Records when I bought this disc back then, wondering why someone so young would have an interest in something so seemingly archaic. Maybe it's just me, but I'd say it holds up better than, say, the albums of Starship from the same era.

Listening to these tracks, it's hard to believe that old Joe would kick the bucket shortly after making this recording. Sadly, Dory, who is either 78 or 83 depending on what sources you follow, is close to being at the same point and hasn't recorded anything in decades. Beware, indeed.

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At 8:33 AM, Blogger Bryce Digdug said...

Valley of the Dolls is a great soundtrack. It's actually quite healing and I often cried listening to it. That is being a small town gir...boy from Minneapolis and moving to this degenerate hellhole/cultural backwater/damp dishrag San Francisco. I've had to climb Mount Everest, well, at least Nob Hill.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Bryce - There's a lot of Jennifer North in you. Wasn't she from Minnesota too? Like her, you've had to make all those "art" movies to pay the rent. I've always related to Anne Welles. The only time I resorted to dolls, I ended up spitting them up on Baker Beach. I've reached complete nirvana listening to "I'll Plant My Own Tree" many times.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

Tonys lament is the one I seem to sing quietly to myself usually at the wrong time. " come live with me... And be my love..." I reenacted his collapse at the music center last Xmas. Forcing my date to repeat "tony" whenever I cried "Jen?" he had never seen the film but did it all the same.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gavin - What a memorable night that must have been. Can I be your date this Christmas?

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

But of course. Keep in mind the Christmas party re-enactment is based on the location of the party. So if it is, lets say, at the Kodak theater... We can go next door with a crowbar and try to remove the cement slab containing John Waynes footprints.

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gavin - Okay, crow bars are always a holiday accessory for me.


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